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How the State Pension works

Start planning for a happy retirement

The State Pension is a regular payment you can claim from the government when you reach State Pension age.

Your age, gender and National Insurance record will affect the amount you’ll get and when you’ll be eligible to start receiving it.

How the state pension works

How do you get the State Pension?

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

If you wish, you can defer your pension until a later date. By doing this, your State Pension payments could be higher when you do decide to claim.

Take a look at the government’s website for more details on how to start your pension claim.

How much could you receive?

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

If you reached the State Pension age on 6 April 2016 or later and you’re eligible, you’ll get the new State Pension. The amount you’ll receive will depend on your National Insurance record – for more details, see the government’s website.

To get a State Pension, you’ll usually need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record. If you have a 35-year National Insurance record, you will qualify for the new full State Pension. From April 2018, the new State Pension is £164.35 per week. 

You might also be able to claim pension credit. This is an income-related benefit which could top up the amount you receive each week. There’s more information about this on the UK government Pension Credit page.

Will you have enough to live on?

The new state pension of £164.35 a week amounts to £8,546.20 a year. 

You probably need to ask yourself if you could get by on this amount if you don't have a pension of your own, or any other ways to boost your income. This information is based on current understanding of legislation and may change.

Don’t forget that you may have to pay tax on your State Pension. You can find out more by visiting the UK government page Tax when you get a pension.

Please remember that your tax treatment will depend on your individual circumstances and may change in the future.

What if the State Pension isn't enough?

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

You can use My Retirement Planner to check how varying the amount you put into a private pension plan might affect your retirement income. It’s easy to use and only takes a couple of minutes. The planner is only intended to help give you a rough indication of how things are going, and whether your plans are on course.

Looking for Pensions?

Visit our Pensions page to see full details of the retirement options we offer.

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