How much is the State Pension?

If you're approaching retirement or planning for your future, it makes sound financial sense to check exactly how much state pension you will likely receive when you pass the age at which the payments kick in. The state pension isn't all that simple, however, and how much you receive depends on a variety of factors.

Basic State Pension

If you reached your pension age before April 6th 2016, then you will receive the original State Pension. Worth £125.95 per week at the time of writing (June 2018). The actual amount you'll receive depends on how many years you paid National Insurance (NI) while you were working, your marital status, and whether or not you built up any additional state pension – booster payments that are also linked to NI contributions. To get the full Basic State Pension you would have needed a total of 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits. 

The amount increases every year in line with the highest percentage within the triple lock – UK earnings growth, price growth, or an interest rate of 2.5% – and if you're on a low salary (below £159.35 per week if you're single, and £243.25 if you're in a couple in 2017/18), you can receive pension credit to increase the amount of money you receive. 

The New State Pension

Conversely, those reaching pension age on or after April 6th 2016 will receive the New State Pension. Designed to iron out differences in the amount of money received by pensioners and achieve a flat rate, if you've paid NI for 35 years or more, you'll receive the full £164.35 per week (with this amount increasing in line with the triple lock).

You'll receive less if you've paid NI for fewer than 35 years (however this can be increased with pension credits, such as those for people who spent a number of years child-rearing or caring). You'll also lose out slightly if you were contracted out of the government's previous state earnings-related pension scheme (SERPS), but you should be able to make this shortfall up with a private pension.

You can top up your New State Pension by continuing to work, paying NI contributions as you do so.

Because of the inherently complex calculations involved with working out how much a particular person will receive from their respective pension scheme, it's impossible for us to give you a completely accurate amount – click here to use the government's Check your State Pension tool to find out the exact size of the payments you'll receive.

Receiving the pension

If you've passed the state pension age that applies to you – click here to check when you'll receive it – and have paid NI for the requisite number of years, you will be able to submit a claim in order to receive the pension, even if you are still in employment.

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