State pension - how much are you entitled to?

Last updated: Dec 31st, 2012
Feature by Ruth Jackson

The basic state pension is paid to people over state pension age who have made enough national insurance contributions in qualifying years. The number of qualifying years you need to get a full basic state pension of £107.45 a week depends on your age and sex:

  • Men born before 6 April 1945 usually need 44 qualifying years
  • Men born on or after 6 April 1945 need 30 qualifying years
  • Women born before 6 April 1950 usually need 39 qualifying years
  • Women born on or after 6 April 1950 need 30 qualifying years.

If you have reached state pension age without building up the full entitlement you will still be able to claim a portion of the state pension. How much will depend on how many qualifying years you have built up. You can get a state pension forecast at direct.gov.uk.

Find the best annuity rate for your circumstances

Pension Credit - who's eligible and how to claim it

Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit designed to top up low pension incomes. It is not linked to national insurance contributions and around four million people are entitled to it, but only one in three of those eligible actually claim it.

It is made up of two parts – the Guarantee Credit and the Savings Credit.

The Guarantee Credit is designed to top up everyone's state pension to £142.70 a week if you are single, or £217.90 for couples.

The Savings Credit is designed to reward people who have made some provision for their retirement such as savings or a second pension.

You need to have a weekly pension income of at least £111.80 for single people (£178.35 for couples) in order to be eligible for the Savings Credit. The amount you can receive from the credit is capped at £18.54 per week for single people and £23.73 for couples.

“Pension credit can make a significant difference to a person's quality of life”, says Michelle Mitchell, charity director general of Age UK. Unfortunately, at present there is a “benefits maze facing older people,” she says.

You can navigate the maze with Age UK's pension For once in credit calculator available at ageuk.org.uk.

Your Comments

It makes women into second rate citizens when they dont get a full pension because they have needed to stay at home to bring up children, no wonder kids run riot on the streets because the mother has to return to work so she gets a full pension.

It is criminal how the government have withdrawn my proposed, long awaited state pension and deferred it for 4 years.  I have saved and planned for my expected, long awaited retirement at 60 in 2013 only to be told at very short notice that I must wait another 4 years. It is disgraceful.  Robbery. Paid all my life and foreigners are getting benefits without question and heating allowance and child benefits paid to the wealthy who do not need it. Shameful

 susie58 Totally agree Susie- i am in the same boat to.Mine has been deferred for 5 years and to rub salt into the wounds i don't even get it on my birthday in the May ,i have to wait to the September before i get it.What a cheek!! I think we should all do something about it and not take it lying down!

 
Robbed again!!!
Cannot understand why when both my wife and I who have over 40 years paid payments seperately into the pension scheme should now have a reduced couples pension instead of two seperate pensions.
I means we are again penalised for working hard and not being feckless.     This government is about as much good as chocolate ashtray for pensioners.

I so agree with your comments. My Husband is exactly 5 years old than me and we were going to retire on the same date. i am also 60 in 2013. Now my retirement has moved till I am 65 and 3 months - crap.  I am a carer for him so have no idea what the future holds. The situation stinks

 Pedros143 - I think you will find that you are both entitled to separate state pensions in your own right.  The rules allow that a wife who does not have an NI record in her own right receives a state pension based on her husband's NI record and receives the reduced married rate.  However if she has an NI record in her own right she is entitled to receive the level of pension that she has earned if it is higher than the standard level.  Thus it is perfectly possible for a couple to receive two full state pensions if they each have a fully qualifying NI record

Have just checked and found that I'm in the same boat because I'm 60 in 2013. I retired early due to ill health but now won't get my state pension until  5 years later than expected. Robbery!

I would point out if you are getting DLA before you are 65, this will continue, IF you continue to qualify!!.

Very simply, you are entitled to nothing. Nowt. 
That's the plan. Sorry to disappoint people, but you aren't entitled to one penny. It's a 'contigent liability' That means no rights no matter what they tell you.
So will you get anything? The answer is no. It's back to how much the debt, if you treat pensions as a debt (they should be), comes to.
 
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_263808.pdf has the details. Page 4. 
 
4,700 billion pounds, rising at over the rate of inflation. 
Given taxes of 550 billion a year, and a 730 billion spending habbit, you can bet that they won't be paying that lot out.
So expect more and more defaults. 
1. Raising the retirement age even more.
2 Means testing
3. Loss of indexing.
4. Eventually, the public service pensions get hit.
5. Tax raids on private and company pensions - for the public good. 
It's all a fraud, and section 2 of the 2006 fraud act is the appropriate offence. 
 
Now, if were on 26K when you retired (median wages), for the last 40 years, you fund invested in the FTSE for your NI contibutions would have been 550,000 pounds.
Instead you get the state pension costing 130K, and they can't even pay that. 
 

Sex equality. 

You are correct. The Government is robbing you and millions more. Please do not point out what other individuals get. This is what the Government (Ruling Class) wants you to do.Instead of improving your lot at their expense hey will rob them too - and claim the electorate wants this!
Focus on condeming rich bankers and the like!

It's a disgrace the way they are treating people. They seem to do as they please with total disregard for anyone and the plans they have made.
This is their promise in the Coalition's document "The Coalition: Our Programme for Government":
"We will phase out the default retirement age and hold a review to set the date at which the state pension age starts to rise to 66, although it will not be sooner than 2016 for men and 2020 for women. We will end the rules requiring compulsory annuitisation at 75".
I believe it's never too late to effect change and should do our utmost to tell this Troy led Government that we will not stand for any more of their lies.
Toe express your disapproval of the changes please sign the petition calling for a reverse in the State Pension Law on the 38 Degrees website. 
Just do a search on Google for 38 Degrees then type in Reverse the State Pension Law, the petition will then appear.  I would urge you all to sign this and encourage your family and friends to do the same. For those of you on Facebook or twitter they are good places to start.
thanks
Anna

 I, for one, am challenging my pension award vehemently. It isn't easy and not for the faint-hearted but I will carry on because the way they have worked it out deprives me of years that did qualify.
If everyone who did not get a full pension under the previous rules were to investigate, especially those whose ex-spouse's records were used as a substitute, you'd see how they deprive you of what is yours. Yes, those who now have to wait are angry but at least they need far less qualifying years than those born 2 years before them. If you were a care-giver you are a 2nd class citizen.
If you've saved for your retirement in the form of a private pension, as the govt. is pressing for even more now, you only get to keep £10 a week of that over the Minimum Income Guarantee AKA Pension Credit due to housing benefit rules! Robbers! So why did we bother to work all our lives? Even if we'd never had a job in our lives we'd get rewarded almost as much as those who did. Check on the Rowntree web site for proof of this.
My savings all went on rent and now, at 64, I have had to return to work or I'd lose even more independence and freedom! I envisage working till I drop! I will visit 38 degrees and spread the word. Surely it is against the law not to pay out the same amount to all those who paid in the same? It must be fraud? I'd ike to think it was worth more than ten quid a week to have contributed for 38 years(and only get 34's worth)! That won't even buy me 2 bottles of plonk! Not that I'd want to but you get what I mean! How did Jersey residents get nearly double the amount we do? Basic of £186.00!!!

I was 60 in December 2010 but I also had to wait, till September 2011 before receiving my Pension because I wasn't born before July 1950. My siter-in-law was 60 in January 2010 so she received her pension a good 20 months before me even though she is only 11 months older than I am, doesn't seem fair to me. They should go from January each year surely, July just doesn't make any sense, it doesn't even go from the "Tax Year" which is April. I thouroughly agree with "susiejksn", you work all life and foreigners come over here to "WHAT", free benefits and every-thing else they can get free. No wonder at my local doctors you have to wait at least two to three weeks to see a doctor, by which time you're either cured or dead.

I am 69 years old and currently receiving a state pension together with pension credit. My question is under what circumstances could the amount I receive be effected? 
 
 

boatman  im 62 and cant work due to health reasons the dwp ask me why i cant do something else i told them i cant pass the medical i need to work the goverment make the rules that you have to have a current medical i cant pass that now due to health  can i claim anything ive  had the little amount iwas getting on the sick stopped now as ihave claimed for52 weeks it now seems i cant get any help ive got a very small pension can i get any help it seems as ive worked since i was 16 the goverment say well carry on we have to help all those who have never worked it seems they have two clubs you are either a pay in or a claimer if you are a payer in you cant change to a claimer the professinal claimers get all the money and they are not having you in their club ive worked hard and hate to think how much tax and NI over the years makes you sick ive got a bus pass and free medicine for the cheap medicince the NHs buys big deal and the foreigners come in and get more than us  and they have put nothing in the pot but god they are told how to get it out  their was bloke on tele the other night we will get all the befits we will simple out bred you and walking round you can see they are well on target  HELP