HomeRulesEmploymentPensions › State Pension
UK State Pension Explained

What is the State Pension? The UK State Pension pays a regular payment to most older people during their life in retirement. As a rule, your National Insurance record will determine how much you get - even though it may only be part of your retirement income.

STATE PENSION ADVICE: The government old age pension starts when you reach the official retirement age.

The year you were born determines your State Pension age. The retirement age for men is currently 65 and 60 for women.

This guide explains how to find out your State Pension age and calculate how much you might get.

You can find help and advice about your eligibility for the State Pension. Those who qualify will find the steps and procedures needed for claiming your retirement pension in the United Kingdom.

There is extra information about Pension Credit. This is an income-related benefit which combines two parts – Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

We also cover the important topic of pension deferment. Some people choose not to claim their State Pension but prefer to delay it for a while. You can delay claiming it once you get to 4 months away from the official State Pension age.

State Pension Guide UK 2022

Basic State Pension

A guide on how to claim the basic State Pension and the amount you might get. Find out how to increase your State Pension and get advice about inheritance.

Additional State Pension

Information in the section explains Additional State Pension rules. You may know it as S2P or even the old State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS).

New State Pension

The section explains the new State Pension rules and regulations. Check your eligibility to get it and the procedures for claiming the State Pension.

Use the online service as a State Pension checker to see how much you could get when you reach State Pension age.

You can work out the earliest age to start receiving your State Pension. Use the online tool to check your State Pension age and qualifying age for Pension Credit.

The income rates from your benefits, tax and pension can change if your spouse or civil partner dies. This is because of the change in your family or household circumstances.

You can claim your State Pension online if you are within four (4) months of State Pension age or you deferred it.

Over 80s Pension

Turning eighty means you may qualify to get the State Pension over 80 years old. Check your eligibility and how much you could get.

Note: People who retire overseas can claim the State Pension abroad. Different rules apply, but you can still claim your pension while you live overseas.

Early Retirement

Taking early retirement is a viable option for many people nowadays. So, how does retiring early affect a pension and the welfare benefits you get?

Contracting Out

Find out what contracted out of the State Pension scheme means to you. The guide shows how to check if you got contracted out of the Additional State Pension.

Deferral (delayed)

The guidelines on how to delay (defer) taking up your State Pension. Find out how a deferred pension payment changes what you get as extra State Pension or as a lump sum.

Pension Credit

What is Pension Credit? Two elements combine to make up the income-related benefit and Pension Credit guarantee.

The government Pension Credit calculator provides an estimate of how much you should get. The actual amount of you receive depends on family and financial circumstances.

Pension Service

Check the section explaining how to contact the Pension Service. They deal with eligibility, how to claim, pension payments, and making complaints.

Get expert advice from the Future Pension Centre about pension forecasts. They also deal with pension statements and general enquiries.

Use the International Pension Centre contact details to make pension and benefits enquiries if you live abroad.

National Insurance and Tax

You do not pay National Insurance after reaching State Pension age. That is unless you are self-employed and paying Class 4 contributions.

There may be times when you cannot make your regular NI Contributions. Check how National Insurance credits help to build up your ‘qualifying years’.

Voluntary National Insurance contributions are NI installments. Hence, you can pay them by choice to top up gaps in your National Insurance record.

Related Help Guides

HRP Explained

Some people may still be eligible for Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP). Find out what you might get and how to apply.

Independent Case Examiner

Contact and complain to the Independent Case Examiner if you want to make a complaint about DWP services.


Law changes in 2008 mean Kindertransportees may qualify for an increased State Pension. Check the relationship between Kindertransport and the State Pension.

State Pension Explained for Pensioners and Retirees in United Kingdom