TV licence: BBC to write to 260,000 pensioners as grace period comes to an end

The BBC will be writing to 260,000 pensioners who are yet to pay for their TV licence as the “transition period” ending free licences for over-75s comes to an end.

The universal right to a free TV licence will end next month for the age group and only those in receipt of pension credit do not have to pay.

Pensioners were given a grace period amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the BBC has confirmed this will now come to an end on July 31.

The corporation said more than nine in 10 over-75s households have now made arrangements for a free or paid licence, or updated it on changes in their circumstances, which is in line with the broader UK population.

A statement said: “As we have now reached a situation where over-75s households are in line with the general population, the extended transition period we put in place due to Covid-19 will end on 31 July 2021.

“And in line with general policy, anyone who watches or records live TV programmes on any channel, or downloads or watches BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer, must be covered by a valid TV licence.”

The BBC said it will be writing to the 260,000 people who are yet to make arrangements and will include information about the next steps to take and where advice and support are available.

BBC director-general Tim Davie previously signalled that over-75s will not be threatened with legal action over non-payment.

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