State Pension - what used to be called the old age pension - is undergoing changes - like every other form of benefits. You have to be 'entitled' to claim state pension. There are certain things you should have done in life to make yourself an 'entitled' person. Just being 65 if you are a man, and 60 if you are a woman, does not automatically qualify you for maximum basic state pension.
The State Pension UK is based upon the amount you have paid in during your life by way of National Insurance contributions - NI contributions.
From 2010 onwards, the State Pension age for women will rise from 60 years, through to 65 by the year 2020. From 2020 State Pension age will be 66 for MEN and WOMEN
Women born on or before 6th April 1950 will not be affected, because mathematically they will slot into the new age increases. (They will have a 'state pension rights' age during the years 2010 and 2020).
Women born between the years of 6th April 1950 and 5th April 1955, will have a State Pension age between the years they are aged 60 and 65 - ie the 'increase' years between 2010 and 2020.
Women born or or after April 6th 1959, will have to reach 65 under the new scheme before thy are entitled to state Pension.
By the year 2018 Women will have to reach the age of 65 - same as men - before they are entitled to receive State Pension.
After the year 2020, the state pension age is set to increase for men and women up to the age of 68. This will be phased in over 22 years - reaching conclusion during 2046!
No longer is it called the Retirement Pension, for the government hopes that most will continue to work well after their normal retirement ages of the past! In reality, most will have to work beyond their normally retirement age in order to live a comfortable life. thankfully. more opportunities are being made available for people to work beyond their normal retirement. What else should I know? More follows about the Pensions Reform Bill - watch this space!
The most important thing is, that you should have reached Sate Pension Age. It does not matter if you are retired from work or not. Once you have reached the proper age for State Pension, then you are ready to claim for it. If you, or your partner/husband/wife have paid NI contributions, you 'may' be entitled to state Pension. So, if you are the right age - see above - and NI contributions have been paid or credited for/by you or your partner, then you can go to the next stage.
is not something that you automatically get. In fact, many are often disappointed to find that they do not get the full basic old age pension rates for some reason or other - usually a lack of sufficient NI contributions at some time in your life.
You have to have a certain number of 'qualifying years' of paying NI contributions during your working life. It may be possible also that you have been credited with NI contributions without actually paying them at some point.
Whilst you may think that you have 'worked' all of your life, the Pensions service has a definition of 'working life'. Nothing to worry about, they just like to make things sound complicated.
Your Working Life is normally as follows - providing you have met the NI contributions conditions.......
49 years for men - from age 16 until 65.
The different age ranges for women, take into account the new extended ages before pension is available - ie 65 in 2020. For instance in the table below, the woman having to work for 47 years, will be one who was age 16 or thereabouts in 1968. So she will be entitled to state pension when she is 63 years old. This is just a simple explanation of the new system of bringing the pension age into line with men - explained earlier .
Working Life for women will be ......
44 years for women born on or before 5 October 1950
45 years for women born on 6 October 1950 or on any day through to and including 5 October 1951
46 years for women born on 6 October 1951 or on any day through to and including 5 October 1952
47 years for women born on 6 October 1952 or on any day through to and including 5 October 1953
48 years for women born on 6 October 1953 or on any day through to and including 5 October 1954
49 years for women born on 6 October 1954 or later
The Next Question is normally - How Much Do I get?
This is a seemingly simple question. The answer often caused stress and anxiety, but there is a relatively easy way to find out - of which, more later.
From the April 2011, the basic state pension is £102.15 for a single man or woman or civil partner. If it is based upon your late husband, wife or partner's NI contributions.
Based just upon your late husband's NI contributions alone, it is £61.20
A Non-contributory Over 80's person pension is £61.20. There is an age addition of £0.25.
All of these are reviewed and uprated in April each year. If you live in certain countries abroad, this uprating might not be applicable.
If you find yourself at the lower end of the Pension Payment scale, do not worry! This is where the pensions Credit scheme comes into action, to help you get more - a basic minimum of £124.05 - maybe more.<< SEE THIS>>