What is the State Pension?

The State Pension is an amount paid to you every four weeks by the government once you reach State Pension age. Not everyone can get the full State Pension and it might not be enough to live on by itself. Once you reach State Pension age, you can take your State Pension while also taking any workplace and personal pensions you have.

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. We’ll break it all down for you here.

What's the current State Pension amount?

The full State Pension amount is £175.20 a week for the 2020/2021 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.

What this means:

  • The amount of State Pension payments you receive will depend on how many qualifying years you have on your National Insurance history.
  • To qualify for the full State Pension you have to have 35 years of qualifying years by the time you reach State Pension age.
  • To get any State Pension you must have a minimum of 10 qualifying years.
  • Once you reach State Pension age you won’t need to make any more National Insurance contributions for the rest of your life.
  • It is possible in some circumstances to top up your National Insurance record. Your state pension forecast will highlight when this is possible.

There are many rules and things to think about when it comes to the State Pension and your National Insurance history. The Government website has more information that can help.

If you’re worried the State Pension isn’t enough

If you feel that the State Pension and your other retirement savings might not be enough for you, you might still have time to top up your pension plan or save in other ways.

How much do you need to retire?

Our handy retirement tool can help you break down how much money you might need for the lifestyle you want in retirement.

Already with us?

Topping up your pension plan could help make a difference to your future. You can make a top up quickly and easily here.

What is the current State Pension age?

You can claim your State Pension now if you’re a male born on or after 6 April 1951 or a female born on or after 6 April 1953 and have reached the State Pension age. Keep in mind that the State Pension age will change, so it’s important to stay up to date.

You can claim your State Pension even if you’re still working when you reach State Pension age. You can even decide to not take your State Pension straight away and defer it for a while. Deferring for a few years might mean you get more per week when you do come to claim your State Pension.

The government site has more information on how deferring might impact your weekly amount.

Is the State Pension taxed?

The money you receive from the State Pension is subject to tax.

If you add up the income from your State Pension, other pensions and jobs and together it goes over the personal tax allowance, then you will have to pay income tax.

The personal allowance for the current tax year is £12,500. Keep in mind that the allowance is reviewed for the start of each tax year. Tax rules can change and it’s up to you to make sure you pay the right tax.

The Pensions Advisory Service has more information on how your State Pension is taxed.

How do I get my State Pension?

It isn’t automatically paid to you, once you reach State Pension age. You have to claim it from the government or let them know that you’re deferring your claim for a while.

The Government site has more information on how to claim your State Pension.

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How much will you have in retirement?

We have many guides and tools to help you plan ahead and work out how much you might need to live on, once you retire.