State Pension

The State Pension is designed as a safety net to ensure you have enough for the basics when you reach State Pension Age (SPA).

When you’re planning for retirement it’s helpful to understand how much you can expect to get as a state pension, and when from what age you can expect to receive it.

How much State Pension will I get?

The State Pension rules are changing from April 2016.

If you’re due to reach SPA before 6 April 2016:

The most you will get as a Basic State Pension is £115.95 per week (excluding Additional State Pension or Pension Credits). You need to have made at least 30 years of National Insurance (NI) contributions to get this amount which is paid every four weeks in arrears after SPA.

You may qualify for Additional State Pension on top of the Basic State Pension. This will be paid automatically provided you haven’t contracted out of it. Whether you get Additional State Pension and how much you’ll get will depend on the number of years you’ve made NI contributions and our earnings.

If you’re due to reach SPA on or after 6 April 2016:

If you're a man born on, or after, 6 April 1951 or a woman born on, or after, 6 April 1953 and you retire on or after 6 April 2016 you will be eligible to receive the new State Pension.

The full new State pension will be at least £151.25 a week (rate to be confirmed in Autumn 2015), but you’ll only receive this amount if you’ve made a minimum of 35 years of qualifying NI contributions.

To receive anything you’ll need to have made at least 10 years of qualifying contributions. The that you’ll be eligible for will increase incrementally between 10 and 35 of qualifying contributions.

To find out exactly what level of pension you can expect to receive, you can apply for a full State Pension review.

Once you reach state pension age you can receive your state pension and still continue to work, but you won’t have to pay further NI contributions.

State Pension Age

The age at which you can start claiming State Pension benefits is known as your 'State Pension Age' (SPA), when you reach this threshold will depend on whether you are male or female and when you were born.


  • If you’re a man born before 6 December 1953: SPA is 65
  • If you’re a woman born after 5 April 1950 but before 6 December 1953: SPA is between 60 and 65

If you’re born after 6 December 1953:

SPA is expected to increase for women to 65 between April 2016 and November 2018, with SPA expected to rise to 66 for both men and women between December 2018 and October 2020.

The government state pension calculator can help you work out when you will hit SPA.

Deferring your pension

You don't have to claim your State Pension when you reach State Pension Age. In fact, deferring it could mean that you get more later on.

While the actual rates and minimum time you'll need to defer for will be confirmed at the end of 2015, it's expected that you'll need to defer for at least nine weeks to see an increase in what you receive.

It’s expected that your State Pension will increase by 1% for every nine weeks you put off claiming – just under 5.8% for each year you defer after State Pension Age.

Will it be enough?

You’ll need to work out how much you income you’ll need in retirement to achieve the lifestyle that you want, and also consider when you’ll want to retire.

A personal or workplace pension can help you fill the shortfall, find out more by reading our guide to types of pensions or speak to a financial adviser for bespoke advice.

Last updated: 18 May 2015