What is the State Pension?

The State Pension is money paid by the government to individuals who have reached State Pension age.

State Pension age varies depending on when you were born, and whether you are a man or a woman. It is currently 65 for men and 60 for women, but in future it is expected to be 68 for everybody.

You can collect your State Pension if you are still working, or you can wait until after you retire. This is called deferring your State Pension, and it may mean that you receive more when you come to claim.

The amount of money you receive for your State Pension depends on the National Insurance contributions you have made over your lifetime. For men born after 1945 and women born after 1950, you will receive the full state pension if you have made 30 full years of NI contributions. People born before these dates usually need 44 years (for men) or 39 years (for women) of NI contributions to qualify for the full state pension.

The full State Pension is currently £102.15 per week. If you have not made sufficient NI contributions you will receive proportionately less, although you can ‘top-up’ your contributions before you reach State Pension age. In most cases the minimum State Pension for UK citizens is currently £25.54. If you are aged 80 or over the minimum you can receive is usually £61.20 per week. You may also be eligible for Pension Tax Credits to increase your income.

If your personal NI contributions do not meet the requirements for the full State Pension, those of your spouse or civil partner may count for you. This includes cases where that spouse or partner is deceased.

Your State Pension counts as taxable income.