• A quarter (24%) don’t know their state pension age – including 10% of those aged 55 to 64
  • 22% have no idea how much they will receive from the state pension
  • Following confirmation that the State Pension will rise by 8.5% from April, Standard Life shares information to clear up confusion

A significant number of UK adults feel uncertain about what they’ll receive in their state pension and when their payments will begin, including many of those who are approaching retirement age, according to new research1 from Standard Life’s Retirement Voice report.

A quarter (24%) admitted they were not aware of their state pension age, including one in ten (10%) of those aged between 55 and 64. Meanwhile, 22% don’t know how much they would receive from the state pension, rising to 29% among 55- to 64-year-olds, while 20% of those aged 65 and over are also unsure about this.

In the dark about the State Pension
Standard Life’s research, conducted among more than 6,000 people, found consumers were in the dark about other details of the state pension:

  • 38% don’t know how to calculate their state pension entitlement
  • 37% don’t know what the current value of payments from the state pension are
  • 25% don’t know that their National Insurance (NI) contributions determine the level of entitlement they will get via their state pension in retirement

Dean Butler, Managing Director for Retail Direct at Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group commented: “The State Pension is set to rise by 8.5% next April and remains an important part of most people’s retirement plans, but many are confused on the detail. Knowing when you’ll start to receive the State Pension and how much you’ll get is an important part of preparing for later life as it indicates how much you’ll need to save in your private pension to meet your expected standard of living in retirement and to be able to retire when you want to. Being aware of your State Pension entitlement and how National Insurance contributions determine the amount you'll receive could also help to avoid any nasty shocks when you reach State Penson age.”

Dean Butler at Standard Life answers key questions about the state pension:

What is the state pension?
“The state pension is an amount paid to you every four weeks by the government once you reach the state pension age. Not everyone can get the full state pension and it might not be enough to live on by itself. That’s why it’s important to know how much your state pension might be, when you can claim it and how it will stack up with your other retirement savings.

What's the current state pension amount?
“The current full state pension amount is £203.85 for the 2023/2024 tax year. It’s worth keeping in mind that the amount you’ll get depends on your National Insurance record and how many qualifying years you have. You'll usually need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any state pension. You’ll need 35 qualifying years to get the new full state pension if you do not have a National Insurance record before 6 April 2016.

What is my state pension age?
“Your state pension age is the earliest age you can start receiving state pension. You can check your state pension age on the UK Government’s website. Men born before 6 April 1951 and women born before 6 April 1953 can claim the basic state pension now. If you were born on or after these dates, you’ll be eligible for the new state pension when you reach your state pension age. But state pension age is regularly reviewed to take into account things like affordability and life expectancy. The state pension age is currently 66 but it is set to rise to 67 by 2028. Remember that modern, flexible workplace and personal pension plans normally let you start taking your money from the age of 55, rising to 57 in 2028. So, you could access your pension benefits before you receive your state pension.

Can I make up for any missing years of NI contributions?
“Gaps in your work history or being in certain types of pension schemes can mean you won’t have enough NI contributions to receive the full State Pension. However, you may get NI credits for years when you’re not employed or have low earnings. In some cases, claiming benefits such as jobseeker’s allowance can actually help you build and protect your State Pension entitlement.

You might also be able to top up your NI record by paying voluntary national insurance contributions. The deadline for filling in gaps in your NI record from April 2006 to April 2016 is 5th April 2025. After this you’ll only be able to plug gaps from 2017 onwards. Filling gaps could potentially boost your State Pension by thousands of pounds, so it’s important to understand if you’d benefit from doing this.

Are you being paid the correct State Pension amount?
“Around 750,000 people are not receiving the correct State Pension amount either due to errors in National Insurance records or the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) not making adjustments when there’s a change to your circumstances. If you’ve time spent raising children and were not in paid employment make sure to check that you have received NI credit for this period. For women whose husbands retired from 17 March 2008 make sure to check your entitlement to ensure that it was increased appropriately, and if you are over 80 and on a low pension, check that the DWP has assessed you for the over 80’s rate. Finally, If you’ve been receiving Universal Credit, double-check that you have been getting NI credits.

Will the State Pension be enough to fund my retirement?
“The reality is there’s a significant gap between what you get from the State Pension and what you may actually need or want in retirement. The State Pension alone will only cover a very basic lifestyle – less than is needed for a minimum standard of living in retirement, according to the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association - and, because it only starts in your late 60s, won’t help to support you if you want to retire earlier. It should therefore only form part of your overall retirement plan and, so, it’s important to fully understand how much you might need to save into your personal or workplace pension plan to potentially be able to afford the retirement you want. To give you some idea of this, try using a pension calculator which can help you see if you’re on track.“

State Pension Payments:
New State Pension Eligibility: men born on or after 6 April 1951 and women born on or after 6 April

  New State Pension Basic State Pension
2023/2024 £208.35 per week 156.20 per week
2022/2023 £185.15 per week 141.85 per week
2021/2022 £179.60 per week 137.60 per week
2020/2021 £175.20 per week 1134.25 per week

1953. 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions

Basic State Pension Eligibility: men born before 6 April 1951 and women born before 6 April 1953. 30 years of National Insurance contributions if you reach state pension age (SPA) after 6/4/2010 but may be different if you reached SPA before this date.




Sarah Muir
07870 397 537

James Merrick
Standard Life
07974 063 067

Notes to editors

1Boxclever conducted research among 6,350 UK adults. Fieldwork was conducted 26th July – 9th August 2023. Data was weighted post-fieldwork to ensure the data remained nationally representative on key demographics.

About Standard Life

  • Standard Life is a brand that has been trusted to look after peoples’ life savings for nearly 200 years
  • Today it proudly serves millions of customers who come to Standard Life directly, through advisers and through their employers’ pension scheme.
  • Standard Life is part of Phoenix Group, the largest long-term savings and retirement business in the UK. We’re proud to be building on nearly 200 years of Standard Life heritage together
  • Our products include a variety of Pensions, Bonds and Retirement options to suit people’s needs, helping our customers to invest and save for their future. We’re proud to offer a leading range of sustainable and responsible investment options.
  • We support our customers on their journey to and through retirement with comprehensive, easy-to-understand guidance so they can invest in the right way for their needs, and plan a future they feel confident about.
  • Standard Life is the proud headline sponsor of Race for Life, Cancer Research UK’s flagship fundraising event series.

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