State Pension

older couple laughing outdoors

The State Pension gives people of State Pension age a regular income to live on.

For men born before 6 December 1953, the current State Pension age is 65.  For women born after 5 April 1950 but before 6 December 1953, their State Pension age is between 60 and 65.  Under the Pensions Act 2011 women’s State Pension age will increase more quickly to 65 between April 2016 and November 2018. From December 2018 the State Pension age for both men and women will start to increase to reach 66 in October 2020.

To be entitled to a State Pension you must fulfil National Insurance (NI) contributions conditions. This can be done through contributions from your earnings‚ voluntary contributions or through credits.

You can get a State Retirement Pension if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • You have reached State Retirement Age – this will depend on your age and can be checked at the Direct Gov website 
  • You meet the National Insurance (NI) contribution conditions.
  • You claim it. You will not receive your State Retirement Pension automatically on reaching pension age. You need to make a claim.

Most older people are entitled to a pension but they still have to make a claim for it. 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 on 0845 300 1084.

The amount of State Retirement Pension you get will depend on the level of your NI contributions, when you made them and the amount you were earning at the time.

Pension forecast

If you haven’t yet reached pension age you can ask for a pension forecast from The Pension Service. You can get a forecast by post or telephone if you are:

  • living in the UK
  • more than 30 days away from State Pension age.
  • You can get an online forecast from The Pension Service’s website if you are:
    living in the UK
  • more than four months away from State Pension age
  • not widowed or someone whose civil partner has died.

The forecast will tell you what pension you can expect to get when you reach pension age. Ask your local benefits office or pension centre for a copy of form BR19 that explains the process, or phone 0845 300 0168. Alternatively you can download a form from The Pension Service’s website (see Useful websites).

How will my pension be paid?

Normally, your pension will be paid directly into your bank account. If you do not have an account you will be given information on opening a bank, building society or post office account. If you can’t manage an account, you can ask to have your pension paid by a cheque which you can cash at the post office. But you will have to rely on the post to get your payment, so it is usually better to have the money paid directly into an account if you can.

Related links

Download the state pensions factsheet from Age Scotland partner Age Uk.

Download the State Pension Factsheet

Your Age Scotland

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

Silver Line Scotland:
0800 4 70 80 90

Useful website

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

Useful information to download


A factsheet from Age Scotland partner Age UK that discusses the State Pension and what you are entitled to once you reach retirement age.


Download the factsheet on state pensions

    (PDF 158 KB)

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