There were important changes made to State Pension in 2016. The government introduced a New State Pension which aimed to make the system fairer and simpler to understand, so pensioners could plan their retirement finances more easily. However the system is still far from simple and some are losing out as a result of the changes.
Who Gets the New State Pension?
The new State Pension scheme has been introduced for people who reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016.
You’ll be able to claim the new State Pension if you’re:
- a man born on or after 6 April 1951
- a woman born on or after 6 April 1953
If you were born before these dates, you’ll get your State Pension under the old rules instead.
Changes to the State Pension Age
The State Pension age for women rose to 65 in 2018.
The State Pension age for women and men will increase:
- to 66 by 2020
- to 67 by 2028
The government will review the State Pension age every 6 years. Parliament must approve any changes.
How much you’ll get
How much you’ll get when you reach State Pension age will depend on your National Insurance record.
The full amount of the new State Pension is £185.15 per week.
You’ll usually need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any State Pension under the new scheme.
How to increase your State Pension
The amount you get can be higher or lower than the full new State Pension, depending on your National Insurance record.
You may be able to increase the amount of State Pension you’ll get by:
- continuing to pay National Insurance for the years you work until you reach State Pension age
- applying for National Insurance credits
- paying voluntary National Insurance contributions
If you’ve been contracted out
You may have been contracted out of the Additional State Pension for some or all of your working life.
This means you paid less National Insurance, or some of your contributions were used to pay into a private pension instead of the Additional State Pension.
Contracting out and the Additional State Pension both ended on 6 April 2016.
If you were contracted out until this date, this will affect how much National Insurance you pay.
You may not get the full amount of the new State Pension when you reach State Pension age if you were contracted out.
New State Pension through your spouse or civil partner
The amount you’ll get will be based on your National Insurance record only, unless:
- you’re widowed and eligible to inherit some of your partner’s State Pension
- you’ve paid married women’s and widows’ reduced rate contributions
- you’re divorced and affected by a pension sharing order