The amount of State Pension people will receive when they retire depends on how long they have been making National Insurance (NI) contributions towards it.
The qualifying age for State Pension is now 66 for both men and women across the UK. You will be able to claim the ‘new’ State Pension if you are a man born on or after 6 April 1951 or a woman born on or after 6 April 1953.
You will be able to claim the ‘basic’ State Pension if you are a man born before 6 April 1951 or a woman born before 6 April 1953.
But, how many years of National Insurance contributions do you need to make in order to qualify for the full, ‘new’ State Pension? Everything you need to know is outlined below.
How many years of National Insurance contributions do you need to receive any State Pension amount?
You will need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any State Pension – but they don’t have to be 10 qualifying years in a row.
This means for 10 years at least one or more of the following applied to you:
If you have lived or worked abroad you might still be able to get some new State Pension.
You might also qualify if you have paid married women’s or widow’s reduced rate contributions – find out more about this on the Gov.uk website here.
You will need 35 qualifying years to get the new full State Pension if you do not have a National Insurance record before 6 April 2016.
For people who have contributed between 10 and 35 years, they are entitled to a portion of the new State Pension.
Qualifying years if you are working
When you are working you pay National Insurance nd get a qualifying year if:
You might not pay National Insurance contributions because you are earning less than £183 a week. You may still get a qualifying year if you earn between £120 and £183 a week from one employer.
Qualifying years if you are not working
You may get National Insurance credits if you cannot work – for example because of illness or disability, or if you’re a carer or unemployed.
You can get National Insurance credits if you:
claim Child Benefit for a child under 12 (or under 16 before 2010)
receive Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
receive Carer’s Allowance
If you are not working or getting National Insurance credits
You might be able to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions if you’re not in one of these groups but want to increase your State Pension amount. Find out more on the Gov.uk website here.
How to boost your State Pension
It is possible to receive a State Pension even if you choose to continue working.
Additionally, State Pension can be deferred if the person involved is not ready or does not wish to retire.
If this is done for a certain amount of time, it could actually boost payments down the line.
A State Pension will increase for every week of deferment so long as it is deferred for at least nine weeks.
The payments will increase by the equivalent of one percent for every nine weeks of deferment.
This will work out as just under 5.8 per cent for every 52 weeks.
The extra amount would be paid in with the regular State Pension payment.
What if there are gaps in your National Insurance record?
You can have gaps in your NI record and still get the full new State Pension.
You can get a State Pension statement which will tell you how much State Pension you may get. You can then apply for a NI statement from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to check if your record has gaps.
If you have gaps in your National Insurance record that would prevent you from getting the full new State Pension, you may be able to:
Check your National Insurance record here.
Check your State Pension age
This will tell you:
- when you will reach State Pension age
- your Pension Credit qualifying age
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