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.
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 may 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.
You can begin claiming your pension once you reach the State Pension age. This is currently 66 for both men and women, and has been so since 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.
The pension you’ll receive depends on your National Insurance record, but usually, you’ll get the full amount available if you meet the threshold of 35 qualifying years of contributions. The basic State Pension is £156.20 a week in the 2023/24 tax year, which applies to people who reached pension age before 6th April 2016. The current State Pension amount is £203.85 per week in the 2023/24 tax year.
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:
If you were born after these dates, you’re not eligible to receive an additional amount.
For advice and information about pension schemes, visit our pension glossary page now!
It’s a good thing that your pension keeps up with inflation and the rising cost of living! If your pension remained at £100 per month, then the amount you could actually buy with it would decrease as inflation and prices rise. The pension triple lock protects pensioners to ensure that their disposable income remains as valuable as it previously was in real terms.