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The new State Pension: Everything you need to know

From 6 April big changes come into place for men born on or after 6 April 1951 or women born on or after 6 April 1953 that will affect how much you get in retirement.

What you get will depend on your National Insurance (NI) record and whether or not you were ever ‘contracted-out’ of the state scheme.

It’s a little complicated but incredibly important, so we’ve broken down what’s happening and what you need to know about the new State Pension.

What is the State Pension?

State Pensions are paid by the government when you reach the State Pension age - currently 65 for men and 63 for women. By 2018 the State Pension age for women will have risen to 65 and to 66 by 2020 and 67 by 2028 for both men and women.

Under the current system the State Pension is made up of the Basic State Pension (which both self-employed and employed people are eligible for) and an Additional State Pension (which applies only if you are employed). From April 6 the Additional State Pension will be abolished.

It’s not a freebie though. You’re actually funding it through your National Insurance (NI) contributions, which are deducted from your pay  each month.

How much is the new State Pension worth?

The full amount of the new State Pension from 6 April is £155.65 a week. You may get more or less than this depending on your NI contributions.  To be eligible for the full amount you must have been paying (or been credited with) at least 35 years of NI contributions.  Anything less and the amount you’ll receive will be reduced.  You’ll need at least 10 qualifying years on your NI record to get any new State Pension.

What happens now?

 Any amount of Additional State Pension you have built up under the current system won’t be lost and will be converted to a ‘starting amount’ for the new system.

If your ‘starting amount’ is more than the full amount of the new State Pension, any amount over the new level will be protected and paid in addition to the new State Pension when you start to claim it.

If your ‘starting amount’ is less than the full amount of the new State Pension you may be able to build up more pension for any years of NI contributions or credits between 6 April 2016 and when you reach State Pension age.

What if you “contracted out” of your State Pension?

If at any point in your working life you were ‘contracted out’ of the Additional State Pension your new State Pension will be reduced.  This is because you either paid less National Insurance during that time or some of your NI contributions have been used to pay into a private pension instead.

 

Get a State Pension Statement

The best way to check what you are entitled to under the new State Pension is to get a statement. 

You can apply online or if you are 50 or over you can also apply by post or by telephone.

 

 

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  • Brian / 6 May

    When I retire in six years time I will get my sate pension, as I'm renting as a private tenant 500 pounds a month now, will I get my rent paid being on a basic state pension and how about council tax etc..as I need to make plans .thanks.

  • Graham Whincup / 24 September 2016

    I just checked my proposed state pension.
    I have worked for the NHS since 1975, I reach my 65th birthday on 11th July 1952.
    I find my pension will be £123 per week not £155...why is this please?

  • Evelyn Denham / 2 May 2016

    I won't qualify for the new state pension as I was born in 1952. I didn't receive my state pension until I was 62 and 4 months. Saving the government at least £15000. It would be fairer to give anyone that has to wait, to receive the new state pension. I have worked since I was 15 and only had time out when I had my 2 children always doing part time work until I could go full time. I don't think it's fair to have a 2 tier system.

  • Brian / 2 May 2016

    Have we all forgot what Mr Lawson did with OUR pension,s we will not get it back

  • Sarah Louis / 2 May 2016

    This is the first explanation of the new state pension I have understood. Thank you Andy Lewis!

  • beth williams / 2 May 2016

    So 2 get full state pension uv got 2 have worked 35yrs what about women who brought up their children then went back to work buy looks of it they will get hardly anything and they have saved government millions in childcare costs

  • Julie / 2 May 2016

    It's unfair some of us had plans ie visit grand baby's more frequently ect now we just have to work till we die, not all of us our in good health at this age! Give the young ones chance to work and is to have some free time before its to late!

  • Liz / 2 May 2016

    Sorry but you are wrong currently the state pension age for a woman is 65 years and 4 months if like me you were born in February 1954. You stated it was currently 63 for woman and 65 for men! Wrong information is misleading!

    ADMIN: We are both right! Currently women who reach state pension age during 2016 (albeit at different dates throughout 2016) are 63, however the state pension age does start to increase gradually depending on your birthday until it ultimately reaches 66 and then increases in line with men’s state pension age up to 68. You can check your state pension age by using the Gov.uk calculator here: https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-age or you can look at the exact timetable by age here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/310231/spa-timetable.pdf.

  • LINDA MARY WEIR / 2 May 2016

    the government treat us like we are inactive in the tax system. we pay. We should not be waging wars in the middle east under the umbrella of a bankrupt capitalist system, ie the USA. WE SHOULD not be bombing Syria, inCahoots with Saudi ARabia and be paying huge bonuses to elites.

  • Fiona Watson / 1 May 2016

    you say that 'serps' is to be abolished on April 6th- I would like to know what will happen to my contributions which are considerable ?and made before that date.

    I am unclear what is meant by the 'Triple lock' & how does this differ from the 'CPI'' which is assesed by the govt in Sept.

    It would seem very unfair that people who have in Mr Camerons words worked hard and done the right thing are penalised by the the application of ,CIP, to the top ups which dip below the minimum 2.5 'Triple Lock ' increase resulting in a two tier system.

    I understand the govt. says they have maintained the winter fuel payments and free bus passes and eye tests - what good are those if you cannot afford to pay for new glasses and I am sure there are some pensioners who cannot reach a bus - statistics are needed. Perscriptions are free however a pensioner will be lucky if they can see a GP to get one !

    Your comments would be appreciated ?

  • Christopher Malone / 1 May 2016

    Me yet again - sorry - question 3 (5.1) should read not irreversible)

  • Christopher Malone / 1 May 2016

    Me again - my second set of questions should read:

    Further questions for clarification please:
    1 (4) Can someone who left a company and took their pension out buy those years back as not contracted out for the SRP ?
    2 (5) Can someone "unbundle" their taking back of their contracted out contributions by paying back the sum taken ?
    3 (5.1) If so (and assuming it is irreversible) are there time limits ?
    4 (6) How can extra SRP qualifying years be purchased ?
    5 (6.1) For someone of working age
    5.1 (6.2) Ditto self-employed ?
    5.1.2 (6.2.1) Ditto but not paying Class 2 NHI contributions ?

    (changes are just to numbering of questions 5 (equivalent to 6 if previous sequence from first set of questions continued).

  • Christopher Malone / 1 May 2016

    Further questions for clarification please:

    1 (4) Can someone who left a company and took their pension out buy those years back as not contracted out for the SRP ?

    2 (5) Can someone "unbundle" their taking back of their contracted out contributions by paying back the sum taken ?

    3 (5.1) If so (and assuming it is irreversible) are there time limits ?

    4 (6) How can extra SRP qualifying years be purchased ?

    5 (6.1) For someone of working age

    5.1 Ditto self-employed ?

    5.1.2 Ditto but not paying Class 2 NHI contributions ?

  • Christopher Malone / 1 May 2016

    Please can you clarify:

    1 How self-employed who will no longer be required to pay Class 2 NHI contributions but do not need to pay higher rate NHI contributions will obtain their qualifying years for the SRP?

    2 Can people who are now ex-pats but with a small business in the UK but again do not need to pay higher rate NHI contributions continue to obtain qualifying years for the SRP ?

    3 Can people still purchase more SRP qualifying years retrospectively ?

    3.1 Does this apply to people with years in the UK who did have the option but have now emigrated ?

    3.2 Does this apply to people who are now ex-pats with a small business in the UK ?

  • Ellen Sheppard-Smith / 1 May 2016

    I'm 68 and don't know if the pension I get now will change. I also receive pension credit . What will happen to me now??

  • Mike Taylor / 30 April 2016

    Very helpful, easy to understand and well set out. We could do with more of this type of help as we get conflicting comments from the media and other sources? In the past I have found so called financial advisers, to be full of self interest in the way they give their advice. I now have a mistrust of these people. So thank you for your unbiased guides.

  • Mrs Katherine Maclean / 20 April 2016

    I am very frustrated with the new deal. I am loosing thousands for delaying my pension from 60 to 66. On top of this, Because I have only paid 31 years, not 35 into the pension scheme. I will not get a full pension. Even if I top it up, I will loose more cash than I gain. I feel I have had this money stolen from me. I had a physical job as a gardener, which I could not physically continue. I am working part time now, at the age of 62, with not enough hours to pay into pension.

  • Hazel Palmer / 20 April 2016

    I was born in 1953 and I will not be eligible for my state pension until I am 64 years 11 months old. I feel let down as I should have been eligible for my pension at 60, then the goal post was moved to 62 and now it's almost 65. I noted that the government said women like me had plenty of warning that they gave plenty of warning that the pension age was going to be raised, however I disagree. Women born in the 1950's had this decision forced upon them and had little time to make adequate arrangements to retire with a reasonable pension to support them into their retirement I advise all women in this position to sign the WASPI petition fighting for women's rights. People in this position should be reimbursed for the loss of pension that should have been credited to them, enabling these women to retire as planned and not 5 years later than they expected.

    The new pension does not appear to be fair for those people who have worked all their lives and paid graduated pension and serps, people who have not done this appear to be just as well off, how can this system be fair.

  • Michael Sherratt / 18 April 2016

    Women born in the 50's have been treated utterly disgracefully in respect of heir state pension. Transitional arrangements must be implemented.

  • B Sheridan / 4 April 2016

    This is a terrible thing to do to people late in life. We don't have time to prepare or save. We should stop sending millions abroad in foreign aid if we can't provide for our own people. To keep moving the goal posts will leave some in dire straights. It is all very well highering the retirement age but getting or keeping a job until this age is another matter.

  • Paul / 4 April 2016

    I think you need to focus on helping people who don't have 10 years built up. What are the options here?

  • Paul / 4 April 2016

    I think you need to focus on helping people who don't have 10 years built up. What are the options here?