State Pension age: How old must you be to claim a State Pension? Basic vs new EXPLAINED

Retirement is something many people look forward to, and pension funds mean that when the time comes to take a step back from work, you can usually live your life comfortably.

The state pension is a fund that Britons pay into during their working lifetimes via national insurance contributions.

It is a totally different pot of money to a private pension, which is provided to employees by their employers via various schemes.

Once they reach the state retirement age, retirees can then claim their state pension – but how old do you have to be?

The basic state pension

The basic state pension differs to the new state pension, with a person’s date of birth affecting which type they’re eligible for.

Men who was born before April 6, 1951, and women who were born before April 6, 1953, are eligible for the basic State Pension.

In order to claim it, you’ll first need to reach state pension age – which will vary depending on your date of birth and sex.

You can find out your state pension age by using the calculator on the government’s website.

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For a full basic state pension, you’ll need a total of 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits.

This means you must have been paying National Insurance while working, voluntarily paying National Insurance contributions, or receiving National Insurance Credits – such as if you were unemployed or ill.

At the moment, the maximum amount you can get on a basic state pension is £125.95 per week, however the figure changes each year.

You can claim your basic state pension over the phone, or download a claim form and send it to your local pension centre.

It’s also possible to make a claim from abroad, by contacting the International Pension Centre or sending them an international claim form.

You can calculate your state pension by using the government’s online tool.

The new state pension

Men born on or after April 6 1951, and women born on or after April 6 1953, are entitled to claim the new State Pension upon reaching their State Pension age.

However, if you reached state pension age before April 6 2016, you’ll get the state pension under the old rules.

Under the new state pension, you’ll need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record – but these do not have to be in a row.

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The amount that you’re entitled to claim depends on your National Insurance record, but according to Gov.UK, the full new state pension is £164.35 per week.

This figure can increase if you defer taking your state pension, or if you have a certain amount of additional state pension.

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