State pension - how much are you entitled to?

Published by Ruth Jackson on 19 June 2012.
Last updated on 31 December 2012

pension definition

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.

Find out everything you need to know about the new pension rules and how to plan ahead for the retirement you deserve with our new magazine, How to Retire in Style. The magazine is available to buy now from all leading newsagents, or can be ordered online at moneywise.co.uk/retire

Leave a comment

Hello I am on the highest

Hello I am on the highest mobility payments and have a mobility car and I also get the high rate of pip payment and I am worried now I am coming up to 65 for pension can you tell me a will I loose my pip payment and my mobility payment ,and also my career payment will that stop has we'll be greatfull if you could send me any advice please thank you

Age 60. Received pension

Age 60. Received pension from NHS, at 55. Receive. Approx £1000 month from this. Past 5 years I have worked 21 hours weekly as staff nurse, intent being to work until my mortgage paid off in four years. Recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis in knee. Probably will not be able to return to work as a nurse. No chance of a change to desk work. Would I be able to claim invalidity benefit if I am not able to return to work. State pension not due until 66/67.