Over half of people don't understand the new state pension

Confused man

As the new flat rate state pension comes into force, over half of Moneywise users admit they don’t understand how it works.

A massive 55% of people who voted in our latest poll, which received 969 votes and ran from 4 April until 11 April, said they don’t understand how the new state pension works.

And while 45% of those who voted said they do understand how it works, 11% of these aren’t eligible for the flat rate pension as they fall under the old state pension system, 19% said they don’t know how much they’ll get, and only 15% were aware of the contributions they’d receive.

These worrying findings come after a report by the Work and Pensions Committee  released in March, criticised the government for failing to adequately explain the changes to those approaching retirement.

See the pie chart below for the full poll results:

What’s happening to the state pension?

People who retiree from 6 April 2016 onwards will receive a flat rate state pension of up to £155.65 a week, but not everyone will get the full amount. 


This flat rate state pension is a departure from the previous system for people who retired before 6 April 2016, who are entitled to a basic state pension of £119.30, while they may also qualify for the additional state pension depending on their circumstances. 

I’m yet to retire. How do I know how much I’ll get?

It’s vital those who are nearing the end of their working lives request a state pension statement. Unless you know how much pension you’ll get from the state and when you’ll get it, it’s impossible to properly plan the rest of your finances.

At the moment only over-55s can get an accurate estimate, but younger people can get an idea of the minimum they can currently expect.

You may be disappointed with your findings, but the earlier you are aware of any shortcomings in the state scheme, the more time you’ll have to try to plug that gap.

You can apply for a state pension statement online, or by contacting the Future Pension Centre by phone, or by sending a postal application. The full details of how to apply can by found on gov.uk.  


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Just been reading a forum on this, thought knew the way it worked. No not the case, after one poster contacted DWP, and has been told something completely different to what everyone thought, now not sure if even the DWP staff know what the rules are. The confusion is over the voluntary NI contributions for years before 6th April 2016 when you have gaps.

Nothing new there then. I spent a lot of my final working years telling people how the old system and our work pension worked. The new system is basically designed simply to reduce costs and it will. It means that for about thirty or forty years two complex systems will exist side by side (well until they change the system again that is) requiring more and more experts to interpret them and administer the mess.

I don't think anyone understannds the new state pension  as the DWP have not told people about what they will not receive under the new state pension compared to pre 6 April  1966 pension such as loss pf GMP increases inheritance and derived rights and possibly divorce setlments agreed before 6 April 2016 which would assumed a wife would receive some pension based on her husbands NI record if she had little or no basic state pension in her own right..