The State Pension is a regular payment from the government that most people can claim when they reach their State Pension Age.
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 and in January 2017 is nearly 64. 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.
If you reached State Pension age on or before 5 April 2016, the old rules for the State Pension system will apply to you. Under the old rules, the standard rate of State Pension is £119.30 a week but very few people receive exactly this amount. You may be entitled to Additional State Pension on top of this or receive less because you do not have enough years of NI contributions. If these rules apply to you, you will receive a full State Pension if you have 30 years of NI contributions. Many people also receive Additional State Pension (also known as the State Second Pension, formerly known as SERPS) as part of their State Pension payment.
If you reach State Pension age after 5 April 2016, the new State Pension rules will apply to you. The standard amount of the new State Pension is £155.65 per week but not everyone will receive this amount.. You need at least 10 years of contributions to receive any State Pension. If you have contributions for between 10 and 34 years, you will get a proportion of the full pension. You may receive more if you have any Additional State Pension already built up under the old rules. However if you contracted out of the Additional State Pension scheme, as many people did, you may receive less than the full amount.
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.
If you want to know how much state pension you are likely to receive, you can find out here.
Download the Age Scotland State Pension Guide