What is the State Pension?

What is the State Pension?

Once you reach retirement age, most people are entitled to claim their State Pension. It is a regular payment from the government which is based on your previous National Insurance contributions.

The current State Pension age is 66 but has been increasing in recent years and is due to rise to 67 by 2028. You can find out your State Pension age by going to the GOV.UK website and using their free calculator.

Am I eligible for State Pension?

Not everybody is entitled to State Pension. You’ll need to have contributed a minimum of 10 years towards National Insurance contributions to receive the minimum pay out. To qualify for the full State Pension, you’ll need to have contributed a minimum of 35 years.

You may not have enough years’ worth of qualified contributions due to gaps in your record. These can be caused by factors such as:

  • Unemployment
  • Unable to work due to illness
  • Living abroad
  • Taking time out of work for childcare
  • Employed on low earnings

You may be able to make up the gaps in your National Insurance contribution record by paying voluntary contributions but doing this won’t always increase your State Pension.

It’s a good idea to seek financial advice to find out if you’ll benefit from voluntary contributions. Money Advice Office provides free independent and impartial information and guidance. They also have reputable financial advisers available who can help you make the best decision for your own personal circumstances.

How to claim your State Pension

You should receive a letter a couple of months before you reach State Pension age explaining how to claim it. You won’t just receive the payments automatically, so it’s important to know that even if you haven’t received the letter, you can still claim it.

The easiest way to claim your State Pension is online, and you can start your claim up to four months before reaching State Pension age.

Contact us

You can also request contact details from the Pension Tracing Service by phone or by post.

The Pension Tracing Service
Telephone: 0800 1223 170
From outside the UK: +44 (0) 1782 389134
Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

The Pension Tracing Service
The Lantern
High Street
EX34 9QB

Copyright 2020 by Pension Tracing Service ® ​

The Pension Tracing Service ® is a trading style of the Millennial Wealth Ltd. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA number 914746. Unit 11Flag Business Exchange Peterborough Cambridgeshire PE1 5TX. The registered company number is 11557299​

This service is not affiliated with the Department of Work and Pensions or any government body. The Pension Tracing Service does not offer financial advice to our clients. However we can allocate you an Authorised and Regulated Pension Specialist.

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