How the State Pension works

What you could get and how to get it

The State Pension is a regular payment you can claim from the government when you reach State Pension age. Your age and National Insurance records will affect the amount you'll get and when you'll be eligible to start receiving it.

How do you get the State Pension?

You can claim your pension when you reach State Pension age. You can find out how at the government’s website. You’ll also find a simple calculator to show you when you’ll qualify for the State Pension.

If you wish, you can look on the governments website about how you can defer your pension until a later date. By doing this, your payments could be higher when you do decide to claim.

How much could you receive?

The amount you’ll receive in State Pension payments depends on how much National Insurance you’ve paid.

How the state pension works

If you haven’t yet reached your State Pension age (or if you reached it on 6 April 2016 or later) and you’re eligible, you’ll get the new State Pension.

You’ll usually need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get the new State Pension. If you have a 35-year National Insurance record, you may qualify for the full new State Pension. For the 2024/2025 tax year, the full new State Pension level is £221.20 per week. For more details, see the government’s website.

You might also be able to claim a state benefit called Pension Credit which could top up the amount you receive each week. Your entitlement would depend on the income and assets available to you when you claim. There’s more information about this on the government's Pension Credit page.

This information is based on current understanding of legislation and may change.

Will you have enough to live on?

As stated above, the maximum available for the new State Pension is £221.20 a week which amounts to £11,502.40 a year. You’ll need to consider this alongside your expected income from any other pensions you have – and from any other sources – to see what your total income might be.

How does it fit in with your other plans?

If reading about the State Pension is making you think about your retirement income in general, we can help you with your planning.

Get to grips with the pension basics

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On hand to help with your pension – and anything else