You build up your State Pension by:
- paying National Insurance contributions
- receiving National Insurance credits which are paid to carers, jobseekers and people on some family and sickness benefits.
You need 35 years of National Insurance to receive the full amount of State pension. If you have fewer than 35 years but more than 10, you’ll get a reduced State Pension.
If your State Pension forecast shows you might not get the full amount, check your National Insurance contribution record. You may be able to pay extra National Insurance contributions to get a higher amount of State Pension.
If you’re due to get the full amount of State Pension, you may be able to get more by claiming it at a date later than your scheduled retirement date.
You don’t get your State Pension automatically – you have to claim it.
You should get a letter around two months before you reach your State Pension age, telling you how you can claim. But you can claim even if you haven’t had a letter.
You can start your claim up to four months before you reach State Pension age. The easiest way to claim is online.