Claiming the state pension

A couple walking and smiling at each other.

State Pension gives you a regular income once you reach State Pension age. It is based on National Insurance contributions and the amount you get depends on how much you paid in.

How much is the State Pension?

The full Basic State Pension is currently £115.95 a week. The amount of State Pension you get depends on your National Insurance contributions, and sometimes those of your current or former spouse or civil partner.

You may have made contributions from your earnings or have been credited with them by the Government, if you were caring for a child or disabled person.

As well as the Basic State Pension, you may get Additional State Pension or Graduated Retirement Benefit, which are based on the amount you earned when working (and therefore the amount you paid through National Insurance).

When can I claim my pension?

The earliest you can get the basic State Pension is when you reach State Pension age.

Use our pension calculator to find out when you qualify

The age at which you can claim State Pension is changing. It is currently 65 for men. State Pension age for women is gradually increasing from 60 and will reach 65 by November 2018. State Pension age for both men and women will then increase to 66 by October 2020 and after that to at least 68.

The Government is also putting through a Pensions Bill, outlining proposals to introduce a flat-rate, single-tier State Pension.

Find out how the new State Pension reforms affects you

How do I claim my State Pension?

You won’t normally receive your State Pension automatically on reaching pension age. You need to make a claim which you can do at GOV.UK. If you haven’t been contacted about claiming your state pension by three months before you are due to reach pension age, call the Pension Service claim line on 0800 731 7898.

You can claim your State Pension even if you decide to continue working past State Pension age.

You can postpone claiming your State Pension, known as ‘deferring’, and get a higher pension or a lump sum when you do claim.

For more information, download the following:

opens link in new window State Pension information guide (PDF 149 KB)

opens link in new window More money in your pocket (PDF 335KB)

opens link in new window FS19 State Pension (PDF 530KB)

We are grateful for the generous support of Dr Naim Dangoor CBE
and the Exilarch Foundation

Your Age UK

Set your location to see what Age UK offers in your local area.

Age UK Advice:
0800 169 6565
Asian couple with a laptop

Plan for retirement

Use our pension calculator to work out how to get ready for your retirement

Useful website

  • The Directgov website provides provides details of state pensions‚ including forecasts and how to claim your pension.

Useful information to download

A factsheet that discusses the State Pension and what you are entitled to once you reach retirement age.

  • FS19 State Pension (PDF 530KB)
  • View all downloads Help with downloads


    What is a download?

    A download is a document (like a research report, a leaflet, or an application form) that can be transferred from our website to your computer. You can download a file, view it on your screen, print it, or save it to your computer.

    What is a PDF?

    PDF stands for ‘portable document format’.

    Most downloads on this website are PDFs. We use this format to ensure that the document looks the same on everyone’s computer (website pages, by contrast, appear differently depending on how people have set their computer up).

    How do I download a PDF?

    Computers use a program called Adobe Acrobat Reader to download PDFs. If you try clicking on a link to download a PDF and it doesn’t work, you will need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader onto your computer.

    How do I install Adobe Acrobat Reader?

    The process is quite straightforward and is free.

    1. Go to
    2. Click ‘Download’.
    3. Wait for the window to offer you the option to ‘Run’, then choose this option.
    4. Click ‘Next’.
    5. Click ‘Install’
    6. Wait for the window to offer you the option to ‘Finish’, then choose this option.

    How do I change a download?

    PDFs cannot be changed.

    How do I print or save a download?

    Downloads will open on your computer in a new browser window.

    Inside this window (below all your web browser menus), there will be a toolbar with options for you to print or save the document.

    Close the browser window to return to the Age UK website.

    Can my screen reader read PDF downloads?

    We have made every effort to make our PDFs accessible to screen readers. Please ensure that you have downloaded the latest version of Acrobat Reader from the Adobe Reader website to ensure that accessibility options are included in your version of the programme.

    You can use Adobe Reader to read a PDF out loud with the following shortcut keys:

    • Read the document: Shift +Ctrl+Y
    • Read the open page only: Shift +Ctrl+V
    • Read to the end of the document: Shift+Ctrl+B
    • Pause: Shift+Ctrl+C
    • Stop Shift+Ctrl+E

    You can convert a PDF document into a text file for use with other software and hardware such as Braille printers by opening the PDF and choosing ‘Save as text’ from the File menu.

Close window
Display options

Set the appearance of this website so you can read it more easily

Text size


To see information relating to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales set your preference below: