The State Pension

What will you get from the state in retirement?

Alongside workplace and personal pensions, the State Pension plays an essential role in retirement planning. Based on your National Insurance Contributions (NICs) record, it’s paid as a weekly income once you reach your allocated ‘State Pension Age’. This can be different from the age you want to retire.

For those reaching State Pension age on or after April 2016, the State Pension is now paid at a flat rate, adjusted each year to reflect the rising cost of living. You can see the current weekly flat rate on the Government website(Opens new window)(Opens new window)(Opens new window).

How your State Pension is calculated

Your State Pension is based on how many qualifying years’ NICs you have. NICs are deducted from your earnings once you earn above a certain level a week. Those entering the NICs system after April 2016 will need at least 10 years’ NICs to qualify for any State Pension and 35 years to qualify for the full State Pension. For everyone else, transitional arrangements apply.

Check what State Pension you’re entitled to and when you’ll get it(Opens new window).

Working out your State Pension age

The State Pension age – the earliest age you can start to receive your State Pension – has been gradually rising. From 2019, the State Pension Age will increase for both men and women, reaching 66 by 2020 and 67 between 2026 and 2028. 

Check your State Pension age(Opens new window).

Increasing your State Pension

If you don’t have a full NICs record – for example, because there are years when you’ve earned no or low income, or were living abroad – you can increase your State Pension entitlement by making additional voluntary NICs(Opens new window).

You might want to seek professional financial advice before making additional voluntary NICs.

Deferring your State Pension

When you reach your State Pension age, you don't have to claim your State Pension straight away. Deferring can qualify you for higher payments when you do decide to start taking it. Find out more about deferring(Opens new window).

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