UK State Pension – FAQ
Q: What is a UK State Pension?
A Basic State Pension is a regular payment that you can receive when you reach State Pension Age. The amount people receive differs, and is affected by their circumstances and how much they have saved during their working lives. It is worth learning about how pensions work as early as possible, to give yourself a head start.
Q: What is the State Pension Age?
Currently, new rules mean that the age at which you can claim your State Pension varies according to your year of birth, and whether you are a man or a woman. By 2020, everyone will need to reach a State Pension Age of 66. Calculate your State Pension Age here
When you reach your State Pension Age, you are eligible to begin claiming your pension. However, you don’t need to do this immediately if you don’t feel it necessary. If you don’t need to claim your pension straight away, you will increase how much you get when you do start to claim it.
Q: What is my State Pension Entitlement?
The current weekly rates are as follows:
Single person (male or female) – £107.45
Married man/woman or civil partner – £171.85
These rates are provided to those who have fulfilled their National Insurance (NI) contributions. Alternately, there is a ‘couple’s pension’, for those couples in which one partner has not fulfilled their NI requirements.
Q: Will I receive a full State Pension?
This depends on your NI contributions and the length of time for which you have been working and contributing towards your pension. You must have worked 30 ‘qualifying’ years for a full basic pension. You must also have worked at least 1 full qualifying year to be eligible for a partial State Pension.
Q: Can I receive more than the Basic State Pension?
Yes. If you can afford to, whilst saving for your Basic State Pension, you can also save for an additional pension at the same time. After working for 30 qualifying years, most people don’t build up their full basic pension any further, but will still continue paying NI contributions. Unlike these basic pensions, there is no cap on an additional pension and you can continue building it until you reach the age of retirement – this is because you stop paying NI at this time.
Q: What else should I know about State Pensions?
It is considered by some that there is no point in saving for retirement as you get less State Pension if you do. This is not true, and is confusing Pension Credit with State Pension. When you reach retirement age, you can be means-tested if you have a low income. You may be eligible to top-up your pension with pension credits. Otherwise, your pension will stay the same, regardless of your personal savings, property and investments.
When you come to retirement age, make sure that you enquire about all of the benefits available to you. A large percentage of pensioners are not aware that they qualify for extra benefits. Ensure that you don’t miss out on these benefits and ask your local authority or Department of Social Services what you could be eligible for.