DWP issues new guidelines for when you can receive full state pension

It is important to start thinking about your pension from an early age, so that when the time comes to retire, you have some security. The state pension is a contributory payment, and the amount you receive is determined by the length of time you have been making National Insurance (NI) contributions.

The full new state pension stands at £185.15 per week, but data from the Department for Work and Pensions revealed that less than half of claimants actually receive this amount, The Daily Record reports.

The 2019 study uncovered just under 500,000 of the 1.1million people who claim the new State Pension receive the full amount.

The UK government raised the State Pension age to 66 for both men and women in 2020. There are plans to increase this to 68 over the coming years.

The actual amount you get depends on your National Insurance record. Your National Insurance record before April 6 2016 is used to calculate your “starting amount”.

To qualify for the new full State pension, you will need at least 10 qualifying years on your NI record to get any State Pension and they do not 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 receive the new full State Pension if you do not have a NI 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 NI and get a qualifying year if:

You might not pay NI contributions because you’re earning less than £190 a week.

You may still get a qualifying year if you earn between £123 and £190 a week from one employer.

Qualifying years if you are not working

You may get NI credits if you cannot work – for example because of illness or disability, or if you are a carer or you are unemployed.

You can get NI credits if you:

  • Claim Child Benefit for a child under 12 (or under 16 before 2010).

  • Get Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.

  • Receive Carer’s Allowance.

If you are not working or getting NI credits

You might be able to pay voluntary NI 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.

What if there are gaps in your NI 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 NI 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

Check your State Pension age using the free online tool here.

This will tell you:

  • When you will reach State Pension age.
  • Your Pension Credit qualifying age.

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