State Pension – Update

February 23rd, 2015

The BBC have put together a helpful summary on State Pensions answering some of the frequently asked questions.

How is the state pension run at the moment?

Those who qualify for a state pension currently start to receive payments in their 60s. The exact age is being equalised for men and women. It is rising to 66 for both sexes by 2020, then to 67 by 2028.

People can look at a state pension calculator to find the age at which they will receive it. The government is planning a five-year review of the state pension age from the next Parliament.

The most somebody can get in state pension at the moment is £113.10 a week.

It then gets more complicated, because some people also receive the State Second Pension, or Serps, which is the government’s earnings-related additional pension.

And there is also an additional means test that tops up the pensions of the less wealthy.

This additional amount is called the Pension Credit, or Minimum Income Guarantee. Those who qualify are guaranteed a weekly minimum £148.35 for a single person and £226.50 for couples.

But is it correct that not everyone gets these payments?

Yes. Your state pension depends on how long you have worked and the number of National Insurance qualifying years you have.

If you reached the state pension age on or after 6 April 2010, you need to have 30 qualifying years for a full basic state pension.

If you reached the pension age before April 2010, then a woman normally needed 39 qualifying years, and a man needed 44 qualifying years during a regular working life to get the full state pension.

If you are in a couple, and only one person in a couple qualifies for the basic state pension, then you can still receive top-up state pension payments of up to £64.40 a week by using one partner’s National Insurance record.

Currently, those aged 80 and over who do not qualify for a basic state pension because of an incomplete National Insurance record, can get a smaller pension as long as they fulfil factors such as residency requirements

Please click here to see the full article.