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State Pension

A State Pension is a government-led pension scheme that you can claim once you reach what’s known as State Pension age. Every week you’ll receive a payment from the government to help you with everyday living costs. The exact amount you’ll get depends on various factors, such as your National Insurance contributions.

State Pension eligibility

Usually to qualify, you’ll need at least ten qualifying years on your National Insurance record. In order to get the full amount of pension allowance, you’ll need to have 35 years worth of contributions. 

You might find that you don’t have enough qualifying years due to gaps in your record. These gaps can be from unemployment, illness and not working, living abroad or because you took time off for childcare. You can make up these gaps by opting to make regular voluntary contributions.

When can I claim?

You can begin claiming your pension once you reach the State Pension age. This is currently 66 for both men and women, as of April 2021. However, it’s worth noting that the government is planning to increase the age to 67 by 2028, and 68 between 2037 and 2039. 

How much do you get?

The pension you’ll receive depends on your National Insurance record, but usually, you’ll get the full amount available if you have 35+ qualifying years of contributions. The basic State Pension is £137.60 a week in 2021/22, which applies to people who reached pension age before 6th April 2016.

You might be able to get more than the basic pension if you’ve built up an additional State Pension, which is based on your earnings during your career. To be eligible you must be:

  • A man born before 6th April 1951
  • A woman born before 6th April 1953

If you were born after these dates, you’re not eligible to receive an additional amount. You can see your State Pension forecast by using HMRC’s online service here.

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