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The State Pension is a regular pensioner benefit from the government. Most people can begin claiming this when they reach a certain age - the State Pension age (this is different from the retirement age).
Here, we’ve explained how to find out your State Pension age, how much money you’ll receive, whether you qualify, how to claim and how it’s paid.
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After the latest review, the current State Pension age for men and women in the UK is 66. This is set to increase again to 67 years old between 2026 and 2028, and again to 68 years old between 2044 and 2046.
The State Pension age had already increased for women from 60 to 65 between April 2010 and November 2018.
We’ve created a handful of tables explaining when some people are due to reach the State Pension age in the UK, and the dates when others will have already reached it. You'll find these in the 'State Pension Age Timetables' section.
The State Pension age refers to the earliest age you can start claiming your State Pension. In the UK, this age is regularly reviewed and is set to rise in the future.
The State Pension age is different to the age at which you’ll start receiving your workplace/employment or personal pension.
You can use GOV.UK’s free tool to check when you’ll reach it. The State Pension age depends on when you were born.
The following table shows when men and women in the UK reached State Pension age (after it increased from 65 to 66):
|Date of Birth||When Was State Pension Age Reached?|
|6th December 1953 - 5th January 1954||6th March 2019|
|6th January 1954 - 5th February 1954||6th May 2019|
|6th February 1954 - 5th March 1954||6th July 2019|
|6th March 1954 - 5th April 1954||6th September 2019|
|6th April 1954 - 5th May 1954||6th November 2019|
|6th May 1954 - 5th June 1954||6th January 2020|
|6th June 1954 - 5th July 1954||6th March 2020|
|6th July 1954 - 5th August 1954||6th May 2020|
|6th August 1954 - 5th September 1954||6th July 2020|
|6th September 1954 - 5th October 1954||6th September 2020|
|6th October 1954 - 5th April 1960||66th birthday|
This table shows the age at which men and women in the UK will reach the State Pension age, once it increases from 66 to 67:
|Date of Birth||At What Age Will State Pension Be Reached?|
|6th April 1960 - 5th May 1960||66 years and 1 month|
|6th May 1960 - 5th June 1960||66 years and 2 months|
|6th June 1960 - 5th July 1960||66 years and 3 months|
|6th July 1960 - 5th August 1960||66 years and 4 months|
|6th August 1960 - 5th September 1960||66 years and 5 months|
|6th September 1960 - 5th October 1960||66 years and 6 months|
|6th October 1960 - 5th November 1960||66 years and 7 months|
|6th November 1960 - 5th December 1960||66 years and 8 months|
|6th December 1960 - 5th January 1961||66 years and 9 months|
|6th January 1961 - 5th February 1961||66 years and 10 months|
|6th February 1961 - 5th March 1961||66 years and 11 months|
|6th March 1961 - 5th April 1977||67th birthday|
Finally, this table shows the date at which men and women in the UK will reach the State Pension age, once it increases again from 67 to 68:
|Date of Birth||By What Date Will State Pension Be Reached?|
|6th April 1977 - 5th May 1977||6th May 2044|
|6th May 1977 - 5th June 1977||6th July 2044|
|6th June 1977 - 5th July 1977||6th September 2044|
|6th July 1977 - 5th August 1977||6th November 2044|
|6th August 1977 - 5th September 1977||6th January 2045|
|6th September 1977 - 5th October 1977||6th March 2045|
|6th October 1977 - 5th November 1977||6th May 2045|
|6th November 1977 - 5th December 1977||6th July 2045|
|6th December 1977 - 5th January 1978||6th September 2045|
|6th January 1978 - 5th February 1978||6th November 2045|
|6th February 1978 - 5th March 1978||6th January 2046|
|6th March 1978 - 5th April 1978||6th March 2046|
|6th April 1978 onwards||68th birthday|
The current full State Pension (for the 2023/24 tax year) is:
The State Pension increased by 10.1% in April 2023. The actual amount you receive could be slightly lower though. Your State Pension entitlement is determined by your National Insurance record, and we’ve fully explained eligibility in the ‘Do You Qualify’ section below.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt announced in his Autumn Statement that the government would increase the State Pension by a further 8.5% from April 2024.
This means that the full new State Pension will rise to £221.20 a week, while the full basic State Pension will rise to £169.50 a week (from £156.20).
If you’ve built up any ‘Additional State Pension’ under the previous system, you may also be entitled to a larger amount.
If you think you may have lost a pension, you can use a pension tracing service to regain access to this.
You can use GOV.UK’s tool to check how much State Pension you’ll receive, along with how to increase it if possible
If you’ve reached or will reach the State Pension age after 6th April 2016, you’ll need a minimum of ten years' worth of National Insurance contributions or credits to claim a basic State Pension.
To receive the full amount, you’ll need 35 years' worth of contributions.
For each of these years, you’ll receive 1/35th of the amount, with 35 years equalling the full amount (£203.85).
Check out our article to learn about the rules surrounding State Pensions for couples in the UK as well.
You can check if you’re eligible by getting a State Pension forecast. This will let you know whether you’re eligible, how much you’re eligible for and when you’re able to begin receiving it.
You can also apply via the post to receive a physical State Pension forecast. When doing this, click on the ‘Application for a State Pension forecast’ link to get the PDF which then needs printing off and filling in.
The easiest and quickest way to claim State Pension is online through this GOV.UK tool. This is for people living in England, Scotland or Wales.
In England, Scotland and Wales, you can also claim via telephone or post.
You can claim through the pension service if you live in Northern Ireland.
If you contact the Pension Service over the phone, they’ll send the State Pension claim form to you. Send this completed form to:
Pension Service 8
Post Handling Site B
The new State Pension is normally paid every four weeks and will go into your chosen account.
Though State Pension is taxable, tax isn’t actually taken away from it. Instead, State Pension will use up some of your tax-free allowance.
The current tax-free Personal Allowance for 2023/24 in the UK is £12,570 (this is the amount of income you don’t have to pay tax on).
So, if you receive the full new State Pension, the difference between these two figures will be £1,969.80.
This amount (£1,969.80) is what will be left of your personal allowance for any other taxable income.
Moving into a care home doesn’t affect the amount of State Pension you can receive. It also doesn’t affect the age at which you can start claiming.
For more information, we have a guide dedicated to what happens to your State Pension in a care home.
We’re on a mission to support individuals and their loved ones throughout each stage of their later living journey. For more information, check out everything Lottie has to offer.
There’s no longer a default retirement age or forced retirement age in the UK, meaning you can theoretically retire at any age. However, you can only begin claiming State Pension when you reach the State Pension age, which is currently 66 years old for men and women in the UK.
Although the State Pension age is currently 66 years old for men and women in the UK, you won’t automatically start receiving it when you reach this age. Instead, you have to claim it. Before reaching this age, you’ll receive a letter explaining the process and what you need to do. You should get this letter at least two months before hitting the State Pension age.