What is a State Pension?

The government pays you a State Pension when you reach State Pension age. The amount depends on the number of years you’ve paid National Insurance contributions or you’ve been receiving National Insurance credits.

Your State Pension will be a significant part of your future income. It’s worth knowing how much you could get and when you’ll get it. The full new State Pension rate for 2024-2025 is £221.20 a week.

More about the State Pension

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.

See how much State Pension you could get

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.

Check your National Insurance contributions

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.

Get your state pension

The State Pension age has been going up in recent years. It’s currently 66 and is due to rise to 67 by 2028.

The government has proposed it should rise to 68 by 2039 and be reviewed every five years after that.

Check your own State Pension age