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State Pension

This advice applies to England

The State Pension is a regular payment from the government most people can claim when they reach State Pension age. Your State Pension age depends on when you were born. You can find out your State Pension age by using the calculator on the GOV.UK website.

The amount of State Pension you’ll get depends on how many ‘qualifying’ years of National Insurance payments you have. This includes National Insurance contributions that you pay when you are working and contributions that are credited to you when you are unable to work.

You can get an estimate of how much State Pension you could get on GOV.UK. This is called a State Pension Statement.

How your State Pension will work depends on your age and gender.

You’re a woman born before 6 April 1950

The full basic State Pension you can get is £125.95 per week.

You need 39 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions to get the full amount. You’ll still get something if you have at least 10 qualifying years, but it’ll be less than the full amount.

You might qualify for an Additional State Pension, depending on your contributions. This is sometimes known as State Second Pension.Find out more about the Additional State Pension on GOV.UK.

Deferring your State Pension

You don't have to claim your State Pension once you’ve reached State Pension age. If you want, you can put off (defer) your claim and get extra pension when you do claim.

If you’re already claiming State Pension you can still choose to defer it. You can only do this once. This means that when you get your pension again, you won’t be able to defer a second time.

The extra pension can be paid as an increase in your weekly rate of State Pension. For every five weeks you defer, you'll get a pension increase of 1%. This works out at 10.4% for every full year. Your pension will not increase if you defer while you or your partner receives certain benefits, such as Pension Credit.

Get more information about deferring your State Pension on the GOV.UK website.

You’re a woman born after 5 April 1950 and before 6 April 1953

The full basic State Pension you can get is £125.95 per week.

You need 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions to get the full amount. You’ll still get something if you have at least 1 qualifying year, but it’ll be less than the full amount.

You might qualify for an Additional State Pension, depending on your contributions. This is sometimes known as State Second Pension.Find out more about the Additional State Pension on GOV.UK.

Deferring your State Pension

You don't have to claim your State Pension once you’ve reached State Pension age. If you want, you can put off (defer) your claim and get extra pension when you do claim.

If you’re already claiming State Pension you can still choose to defer it. You can only do this once. This means that when you get your pension again, you won’t be able to defer a second time.

The extra pension can be paid as an increase in your weekly rate of State Pension. For every five weeks you defer, you'll get a pension increase of 1%. This works out at 10.4% for every full year. Your pension won't increase if you defer while you or your partner get certain benefits, such as Pension Credit.

Get more information about deferring your State Pension on the GOV.UK website.

You’re a woman born after 5 April 1953

You’ll get the new State Pension, introduced in April 2016. The full basic State Pension you can get is £164.35 per week.

You need 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions to get the full amount. You’ll still get something if you have at least 10 qualifying years - these can be before or after April 2016.

If you’ve had a workplace, personal or stakeholder pension in the past and been paying reduced National Insurance contributions (known as ‘contracting out’), your starting amount may be less than the full amount. Contracting out has ended under the new system.

Deferring your State Pension

You don't have to claim your State Pension once you’ve reached State Pension age. If you want, you can put off (defer) your claim and get extra pension when you do claim.

If you’re already claiming State Pension you can still choose to defer it. You can only do this once. This means that when you get your pension again, you won’t be able to defer a second time.

The extra pension will be paid as an increase in your weekly rate of State Pension. For every nine weeks you defer, you'll get a pension increase of 1%. This works out at about 5.8% for every full year. Your pension won't increase if you defer while you or your partner get certain benefits, such as Pension Credit.

Get more information about deferring your State Pension on the GOV.UK website.

You're a man born before 6 April 1945

The full basic State Pension you can get is £125.95 per week.

You need 44 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions to get the full amount. You’ll still get something if you have at least 11 qualifying years, but it’ll be less than the full amount.

You might qualify for an Additional State Pension, depending on your contributions. This is sometimes known as State Second Pension.Find out more about the Additional State Pension on GOV.UK.

Deferring your State Pension

You don't have to claim your State Pension once you’ve reached State Pension age. If you want, you can put off (defer) your claim and get extra pension when you do claim.

If you’re already claiming State Pension you can still choose to defer it. You can only do this once. This means that when you get your pension again, you won’t be able to defer a second time.

The extra pension can be paid as an increase in your weekly rate of State Pension. For every five weeks you defer, you'll get a pension increase of 1%. This works out at 10.4% for every full year. Your pension won't increase if you defer while you or your partner get certain benefits, such as Pension Credit.

You can get more information about deferring your State Pension on the GOV.UK website.

You’re a man born after 5 April 1945 and before 6 April 1951

The full basic State Pension you can get is £125.95 per week.

You need 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions to get the full amount. You’ll still get something if you have at least 1 qualifying year, but it’ll be less than the full amount.

You might qualify for an Additional State Pension, depending on your contributions. This is sometimes known as State Second Pension.Find out more about the Additional State Pension on GOV.UK.

Deferring your State Pension

You don't have to claim your State Pension once you’ve reached State Pension age. If you want, you can put off (defer) your claim and get extra pension when you do claim.

If you’re already claiming State Pension you can still choose to defer it. You can only do this once. This means that when you get your pension again, you won’t be able to defer a second time.

The extra pension can be paid as an increase in your weekly rate of State Pension. For every five weeks you defer, you'll get a pension increase of 1%. This works out at 10.4% for every full year. Your pension won't increase if you defer while you or your partner get certain benefits, such as Pension Credit.

Get more information about deferring your State Pension on the GOV.UK website.

You’re a man born after 5 April 1951

You’ll get the new State Pension, introduced in April 2016. The full basic State Pension you can get is £164.35 per week.

You need 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions to get the full amount. You’ll still get something if you have at least 10 qualifying years - these can be before or after April 2016.

If you’ve had a workplace, personal or stakeholder pension in the past and been paying reduced National Insurance contributions (known as ‘contracting out’), your starting amount may be less than the full amount. Contracting out has ended under the new system.

Deferring your State Pension

You don't have to claim your State Pension once you’ve reached State Pension age. If you want, you can put off (defer) your claim and get extra pension when you do claim.

If you’re already claiming State Pension you can still choose to defer it. You can only do this once. This means that when you get your pension again, you won’t be able to defer a second time.

The extra pension will be paid as an increase in your weekly rate of State Pension. For every nine weeks you defer, you'll get a pension increase of 1%. This works out at about 5.8% for every full year. Your pension won't increase if you defer while you or your partner get certain benefits, such as Pension Credit.

Get more information about deferring your State Pension on the GOV.UK website.

Getting qualifying years

The amount of State Pension you get depends on your National Insurance record. Your National Insurance record includes National Insurance contributions that you pay when you are working and contributions that are credited to you when you are unable to work.

For example, you can get National Insurance credits when you’re claiming Employment and Support Allowance or Jobseeker’s Allowance, or if you have caring responsibilities. Your record can also include voluntary contributions that you choose to pay to cover gaps when you are not working or getting credits.

When you reach State Pension age, you can claim a State Pension if you've paid or been credited with enough National Insurance contributions during your working life. What you get depends on how many ‘qualifying years’ of National Insurance contributions you have. Each tax year (6 April to 5 April) that you pay or are credited with National Insurance contributions counts as a qualifying year, provided you earn or are credited with earnings of at least a minimum amount. This amount changes every year.

Making voluntary National Insurance contributions

If you don’t have enough qualifying years to get a full State Pension, you may be able to make up gaps in your National Insurance contribution record by paying voluntary contributions.

There is a time limit for doing this. You can find out more about voluntary contributions and the time limits for paying them on GOV.UK.

Claiming State Pension while you work

You can choose to keep on working, whether paid or on a voluntary basis, while claiming your State Pension. Any money you earn will not affect your State Pension, but it may affect your entitlement to other benefits such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction (help with your rates in Northern Ireland).

For more information about other state benefits, see Benefits for older people.

Further help and information

For more information about other benefits you may be able to get when you retire, see Benefits for older people. For more about other types of pensions and starting a pension, see Pensions.

The Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is a free, independent service. Their website has useful information about all types of pensions including a pension calculator for working out how much pension you'll need.

Go to www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

nidirect (in Northern Ireland)

nidirect is the official government website for Northern Ireland. It has information about the State Pension and other types of pensions and saving for your retirement.

Go to www.nidirect.gov.uk.

The Pensions Advisory Service

The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) is an independent organisation that gives free information and advice on pension planning, including state, personal, workplace and stakeholder schemes.

TPAS doesn't provide financial or investment advice or recommend products.

Helpline: 0300 123 1047
Go to: www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk

Age UK

The Age UK website has information about State Pension, including changes to the rules from 2016.

Go to: www.ageuk.org.uk

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