The UK Rules
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New State Pension

New State Pension Rules Explained

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

NEW STATE PENSION ELIGIBILITY: The qualifying rules for claiming the new State Pension are simple:

You need to reach State Pension age before you can claim the new State Pension. The government calculate the age based on your gender and your date of birth.

The old 'basic State Pension rules' still apply to those born before the 6th of April 2016.

Note: Information on the new State Pension rules and regulations is available in Welsh language (Cymraeg).

National Insurance Record

As a rule, the minimum requirement to claim any State Pension is having ten (10) qualifying years on your National Insurance record. But, these ten qualifying years do not have to be consecutive (in a row).

Note: The definition of a qualifying year for pension purposes is having paid or had credited enough National Insurance Contributions. NIC years are the same as a tax year starting on the 6th of April to the 5th April in the following year.

Thus, one or more of the following need to have applied to you for at least 10 years before you get to retirement age.

Note: You may also qualify if you paid the reduced rate National Insurance for married women. But, the rules for claiming the new State Pension are different if you have lived or worked abroad.

Working Past State Pension Age

What if you decide to carry on working after State Pension age? In this case, you stop paying National Insurance contributions. You can also make a request for flexible working arrangements if you meet the requirements.

New State Pension Amount 2018/19

The full and current new State Pension is £164.35 per week. But, the total amount you will get is dependent on your National Insurance record.

There are only two reasons why you may get a higher amount. You would need to defer your State Pension or have a certain amount of Additional State Pension.

Note: If you have a personal pension or a workplace pension you still get entitlement to a State Pension. But, you may need to pay tax when you get a pension.

When is the New State Pension Paid?

In most cases, new State Pension payments go out every four weeks. The payments go into an account of your choice; this can include an overseas bank account if you live abroad. The payments get made in 'arrears'. This means they are for the previous 4 weeks and not the coming 4 weeks.

The New State Pension Explained for Pensioners and Retirees in the United KingdomYour National Insurance number determines which day the government pays the new State Pension.

Note: The rules differ for the UK State Pension if you retire abroad.

The First Payment

As a rule, you will receive your first pension payment within 5 weeks of reaching State Pension age.

An Example: You get to State Pension age on Tuesday the 1st of August and your payment occurs on a Friday. Your first payment will be on the 5th of November. The amount will be for the 1st to the 4th of November. After this initial payment you will get full payments every 4 weeks, on a Friday, thereafter.

How to Claim the New State Pension

As a rule, the new State Pension is not an automatic payment. You will need to make a claim to get it. The exception is if you are already receiving certain benefits. You can claim the money even if you are still working after State Pension age.

In most cases you will receive a BR33 letter and booklet four months before you reach State Pension age. The letter explains how to make your pension application.

If you do not get a letter three months before your State Pension is due to start, you should contact the claim line. They will help you make a claim for the new State Pension.

There are several different ways of claiming the new State Pension:

  1. Claim online using a Government Gateway account.
  2. You can contact the Pension Service by telephone.
  3. Claim your pension from abroad. This includes the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
  4. Downloading the most relevant 'BR1 State Pension claim form notes booklet'. Complete the form and send it to your local pension centre.

Note: The new State Pension rules and regulations differ if you live in Northern Ireland.

If You Continue Working

If you decide to carry on working you can still claim your new State Pension. The other option is to 'defer' or delay claiming the money. This will increase the amount you get once you start claiming.

Claiming an Isle of Man Pension

Those who are eligible for the Isle of Man state pension must claim it 'separately' to the UK new State Pension. You can find out if you are eligible for an Isle of Man pension. The site also explains how to make a claim.

You will get separate payments for Isle of Man pension and your UK new State Pension. But, you can no longer defer your Isle of Man pension after the 6th of April 2016.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

New State Pension Calculator: Your NI record determines how the new State Pension is calculated.
National Insurance Record: How NI record and contributions determine eligibility at State Pension age.
Contracted Out: Check what happens if you were in a workplace, personal, or stakeholder pension.
Inheriting or Increasing: The rules for State Pension payments after the death of a spouse (or partner).
Living and Working Abroad: What happens to your new State Pension if you live and work overseas?

The New State Pension Explained for Pensioners and Retirees in the United Kingdom