S2P GUIDE: Are you claiming the basic State Pension? If so, you may also qualify for the Additional State Pension on top.
It is an extra amount of money that you could get if:
- You are a man born before the 6th of April 1951.
- You are a woman born before the 6th of April 1953.
People born on or after these dates should qualify for the new State Pension instead.
Thus, they will not be eligible to get the Additional State Pension payment. But, in some cases you may qualify to inherit the Additional State Pension from a spouse or a partner.
The supplementary payment is an automatic process. It gets paid into your bank account along with the basic State Pension. The exception would be if you contracted out of the Additional State Pension.
Note: Information on the Additional State Pension rules is also available in Welsh language (Cymraeg).
Additional State Pension Amount
This extra bonus payment has no fixed amount. How much you can get will depend on:
- Your earnings and how many qualifying years of National Insurance you have.
- Whether you chose to contract out of the scheme.
- Whether you topped up your basic State Pension (only possible between 12 October 2015 and 5 April 2017).
Note: The online State Pension forecast checker helps you work out how much you might get.
Additional State Pension Eligibility Criteria
Reached State Pension age on or after 6th of April 2016
If you reached State Pension age on or after the 6th of April 2016 you will not get the Additional State Pension. Those who qualify will get the new State Pension instead.
Reached State Pension age before 6th of April 2016
Reaching State Pension age before the 6th of April 2016 means you should be claiming the basic State Pension. If so, there is no need to make a separate claim. Any Additional State Pension that you are eligible for will get paid to you on top.
Note: In most cases you will not get any Additional State Pension for any periods you contracted out of it.
Contributed to the Additional State Pension
Three different schemes make up the Additional State Pension. That means you could have contributed to more than one of them. It depends on whether you chose to top up your State Pension and how long you have been working.
- 2002 to 2016 State Second Pension: You contributed if you were employed or claiming certain benefits.
- 1978 to 2002 State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme: You contributed if you were employed.
- 12 October 2015 to 5 April 2017 State Pension top up: You contributed if you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 and opted in.
State Second Pension since 2002
You may have contributed through your National Insurance contributions. This would be the case if at any time between the 6th of April 2002 and the 5th of April 2016 you were:
- In employment earning at least the lower earnings limit (£5,824 in the 2015 to 2016 tax year).
- Taking care of children under 12 years old and claiming Child Benefit.
- Claiming Carer’s Credit while working as a registered foster carer.
- Caring for someone who was sick or disabled for more than 20 hours a week and claiming Carer’s Credit.
- Receiving certain other welfare benefits due to an illness or a disability.
Contracting Out of Additional State Pension
You could not contract out of the Additional State Pension unless your employer ran a contracted-out pension scheme. Thus, you may need to check with your employer.
Members of a contracted-out workplace pension did not contribute to the Additional State Pension. But, they might still get the Second State Pension. A typical example would apply to those who had low earnings.
You would have got extra pension from a contracted-out pension scheme. But, it is usually the same as (or more than) the Additional State Pension you would have got by not contracting out.
How to Check if You Contracted Out
You can check if you contracted out using an old payslip or by contacting your pension provider. The UK Pension Tracing Service may be able to help you find your pension provider if you lost contact with them.
When You Retire
When you retire you will get a pension from your employer’s occupational pension scheme.
Contracting Out and National Insurance
Some people would have paid lower National Insurance contributions while contracted out. This might apply if:
- You earned between £155 and £770 a week.
- You were below the State Pension age.
- You were not paying the reduced rate National Insurance.
Claiming Additional State Pension
There is no need to do anything to claim Additional State Pension payments. Those who qualify get them ‘automatically’ when they claim the basic State Pension.
Note: The Pension Service write to you informing how much you are getting once you make the initial claim.
Inheriting Additional State Pension
What happens with Additional State Pension if your spouse or you civil partner dies? In this case, you may be able to inherit part of their payments. You should contact the Pension Service to check how much you can claim and how to do it.
Maximum State Second Pension Inheritance
There is a maximum amount of S2P that you can inherit. The inheritance can be up to 50% of a State Second Pension belonging to a spouse or a civil partner.
SERPS Pension Checker and State Pension Top Up Inheritance
The maximum amount you can inherit will depend on when your spouse or civil partner died. You can inherit up to 100% of their SERPS pension if they died before the 6th of October 2002.
The maximum SERPS pension and State Pension top up you can inherit could depend on their date of birth. This is the case if they died on or after the 6th of October 2002.
- Man DOB 5th October 1937 (or before): Maximum % of SERPS and State Pension top up you can inherit is 100%
- Woman DOB 5th October 1942 (or before): Maximum % of SERPS and State Pension top up you can inherit is 100%
- Man DOB 6 October 1937 to 5 October 1939: Maximum % of SERPS and State Pension top up you can inherit is 90%
- Woman DOB 6 October 1942 to 5 October 1944: Maximum % of SERPS and State Pension top up you can inherit is 90%
- Man DOB 6 October 1939 to 5 October 1941: Maximum % of SERPS and State Pension top up you can inherit is 80%
- Woman DOB 6 October 1944 to 5 October 1946: Maximum % of SERPS and State Pension top up you can inherit is 80%
- Man DOB 6 October 1941 to 5 October 1943: Maximum % of SERPS and State Pension top up you can inherit is 70%
- Woman DOB 6 October 1946 to 5 October 1948: Maximum % of SERPS and State Pension top up you can inherit is 70%
- Man DOB 6 October 1943 to 5 October 1945: Maximum % of SERPS and State Pension top up you can inherit is 60%
- Man DOB 6 October 1948 to 6 July 1950: Maximum % of SERPS and State Pension top up you can inherit is 60%
- Man DOB 6 October 1945 (and after): Maximum % of SERPS and State Pension top up you can inherit is 50%
- Woman DOB 6 July 1950 (and after): Maximum % of SERPS and State Pension top up you can inherit is 50%
What if your spouse or civil partner died within 90 days of topping up their State Pension? In this case, the top up should have been refunded to their estate (less any payments they received before they died). This means you would not inherit the top up as part of their Additional State Pension.
Any inherited Additional State Pension gets paid on top of your State Pension once you reach State Pension age.
If You get Additional State Pension Too
The upper limit is £185.90 per week for Additional State Pension. But, this limit does not include State Pension top up.
The Widowed Parent’s Allowance
It is possible to inherit Additional State Pension before reaching State Pension age. In this case, you would stop receiving it if the Widowed Parent’s Allowance finishes.
You may start receiving it again. It could happens when you reach State Pension age. That is providing you were over 45 when you had entitlement for the allowance.
What if Widowed Parent’s Allowance or Bereavement Allowance ends before you turn 55? In this case you would receive less Additional State Pension.
When You Cannot Inherit Additional State Pension
There are some situations when you cannot inherit the Additional State Pension. They include remarrying or forming another civil partnership before reaching State Pension age.
The date you reach State Pension age also has an effect. It will determine whether you can or cannot inherit payments from the Additional State Pension.
Reached State Pension Age Before 6th of April 2010
As a rule, you cannot inherit it from your spouse or you civil partner if they died before they reached their State Pension age and it happened after you reached yours.
These particular Additional State Pension rules do not apply for women married to:
- A man.
- A woman who ‘legally’ changed their gender from male to female during the marriage.
Reached State Pension Age on or after 6th of April 2016
You cannot inherit it from your spouse or civil partner if either:
- Your husband, wife, or civil partner died on or after the 6th of April 2016 and they reached State Pension age on or after 6th of April 2016 (or would have).
- Your marriage or civil partnership started on or after the 6th of April 2016.
What Happens if You get Divorced?
Several things happen if you get divorced or the civil partnership gets dissolved. The court may decide that your Additional State Pension should get shared. They might see this as part of the financial settlement.
If so, fill in ‘Form BR20 State Pension: valuation on divorce or dissolution‘. You can use this form to provide details of your Additional State Pension to the court.