The free TV licence for over-75s will be means-tested from August 1.
BBC chairman Sir David Clementi said: “The decision to commence the new scheme in August has not been easy, but implementation of the new scheme will be Covid-19 safe.
“The BBC could not continue delaying the scheme without impacting on programmes and services.
“Around 1.5 million households could get free TV licences if someone is over 75 and receives Pension Credit, and 450,000 of them have already applied.
“And critically it is not the BBC making that judgment about poverty. It is the Government who sets and controls that measure.
“Like most organisations the BBC is under severe financial pressure due to the pandemic, yet we have continued to put the public first in all our decisions.
“I believe continuing to fund some free TV licences is the fairest decision for the public, as we will be supporting the poorest oldest pensioners without impacting the programmes and services that all audiences love.”
The BBC agreed to take on responsibility for funding the scheme as part of the charter agreement with the Government in 2015.
The broadcaster was due to bring in means-testing last month but it was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
It means more than three million households will now be asked to start paying the £157.50 fee from 1 August.
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Published at Thu, 09 Jul 2020 11:09:00 +0000