You are now leaving the Turn2us site. Turn2us is not responsible for content on third party sites.


Basic State Pension

Find out more about Basic State Pension.

1. What is Basic State Pension?

Basic State Pension is money paid to people who reached state pension age before 6 April 2016.

If you reached state pension age on or after 6 April 2016, you may be entitled to the New State Pension.

You can check the date that you reach state pension age on the government website on their Check your State Pension age page.

Applies to: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Age rules: If you are a man born on or after 6 April 1951, or a woman born on or after 6 April 1953, the age when you can claim your State Pension is increasing and will depend on your date of birth.

Type of benefit: Non means tested, contributory

Taxable: Yes

Administered by: The Pension Service

2. Can I get Basic State Pension?

You can only get Basic State Pension if you reached state pension age before 6 April 2016. If you reached state pension age on or after 6 April 2016, you may be entitled to the New State Pension.

You can check when you reached state pension age on the Check your State Pension age page of the government website.

To get Basic State Pension, you need to have paid enough national insurance contributions or received enough national insurance credits.

If you haven’t paid enough national insurance contributions yourself, you may still have some entitlement.  Check our Basic State Pension – What if I don’t qualify? page to find out more.

As long as you satisfy the national insurance conditions, you can get Basic State Pension even if you are working or have other income. You do not have to claim your state pension straight away and may choose to defer. Deferring your pension can increase your entitlement later on.

The contribution conditions

If you reached state pension age on or after 6 April 2010, you are entitled to some Basic State Pension if you paid enough national insurance contributions for at least one year. 

If you reached state pension age before 6 April 2010, you are entitled to some Basic State Pension if you:

  • Paid enough national insurance contributions for at least one year, and
  • Paid enough national insurance contributions or received enough national insurance credits for a certain amount of years, depending on the length of your work history.

To find out if you have paid enough national insurance contributions to qualify for Basic State Pension, you can request a State Pension statement. You can do this online on the Check your State Pension page of the government website or you can contact the Pension Service by telephone or post.

3. How much Basic State Pension will I get?

The amount of Basic State Pension that you receive depends on your national insurance contributions.

A State Pension statement can tell you how much Basic State Pension you will receive. You can request a statement online on the government website on their Check your State Pension page or you can contact the Pension Service by telephone or post.

The maximum Basic State Pension is £122.30 per week if you are under 80 years old, and £122.55 per week after you turn 80. 

You are entitled to the maximum amount of Basic State Pension if you paid enough national insurance contributions or received national insurance credits for a total of 30 years. 

For each year that is missing from your national insurance record your entitlement is reduced by one thirtieth.

Voluntary contributions

You may be able to pay voluntary national insurance contributions to fill the gaps in your national insurance record and increase your entitlement. You can read more about making voluntary contributions on the government website on their Voluntary National Insurance page.

Additional amounts 

If you receive Basic State Pension, you also qualify for a Christmas Bonus which is £10 each year. The Christmas Bonus does not affect any other benefits which you may be receiving.

If you did not claim your Basic State Pension as soon as you reached state pension age, and you chose to defer, your entitlement could have increased. Read the Delay (defer) your State Pension page on the government website to find out how much your entitlement would have gone up.

You can increase your Basic State Pension by making a lump sum payment before 6 April 2017. You can find out more about how a lump sum payment would increase your entitlement on the Voluntary National Insurance: Top up your State Pension page of the government website.   

Some people may still be entitled to additional amounts from old schemes:

Triple Lock

The Basic State Pension increases every year by whichever is the highest:

  • Earnings – the average percentage growth in wages in Great Britain
  • Prices – the percentage growth in prices in the UK, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI)
  • 2.5%

Forecast

A State Pension statement can tell you how much Basic State Pension you will receive.  You can request a statement online on the Check your State Pension page of the government website or you can contact the Pension Service by telephone or post.

Basic State Pension and Other Benefits

Basic State Pension counts as income when working out your entitlement to other benefits.

Last updated: April 2017

4. What if I don't qualify?

You may not qualify for the Basic State Pension yourself because you haven’t paid enough national insurance contributions or received enough national insurance credits. You may still be able to claim Basic State Pension in some situations. You could also be eligible for Pension Credit to top-up your income. 

Living partner’s contributions

You may still be able to claim if your husband, wife or civil partner paid enough contributions or received enough national insurance credits, and you have both reached state pension age.  

If you are relying on your (living) partner’s national insurance record, the maximum Basic State Pension is £73.30 per week  if you are under 80 years old, and £73.55 per week after you turn 80.  Check the How much Basic State Pension will I get? section to see when this amount may be reduced. 

Deceased partner’s contributions

If you are a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, you may still be able to claim if your partner paid enough national insurance contributions or received enough national insurance credits, and:

  • You reached state pension age before your husband died 
  • You reached state pension age after 5 April 1979 and before your wife died 
  • You had both reached state pension age before your civil partner died
  • You reached state pension age after your husband or wife died, they died after 8 April 2001, you claimed Bereavement Allowance or Widowed Parent’s Allowance and you have not remarried
  • You reached state pension age after your civil partner died, they died after 4 December 2005, you claimed Bereavement Allowance or Widowed Parent’s Allowance and you have not remarried

If you are relying on your late partner’s national insurance record, the maximum Basic State Pension is £122.30 per week until you are 80 years old, and £122.55 per week after you turn 80.  

Check the How much Basic State Pension will I get? section to see when this amount may be reduced. 

Over 80

You may be able to claim an Over 80 pension when you reach 80 years old if you do not already receive a Basic State Pension or the amount you receive is low.

The maximum amount of Over 80 pension is £73.30 per week.  Your entitlement is reduced by the amount of Basic State Pension you are already receiving. 

Last updated: April 2017

5. How do I claim Basic State Pension?

Start the claim

You will not get Basic State Pension automatically, you have to claim it. You do not have to claim it straight away. You can start claiming at any time after you reach State Pension Age.

If you start your claim in the first 12 months after you reached state pension age, you can ask that the claim is backdated to when your entitlement started. If you start your claim over 12 months after you reached state pension age, you will be treated as having deferred your pension and cannot get it backdated.

You will usually receive a letter from the Pension Service around four months before you reach State Pension Age telling you how to claim. If you have not received a letter and there are less than three months left before you reach State Pension Age you can phone the claim line to find out the next steps.

If you do not qualify for Basic State Pension, or the amount you receive is low, you will usually receive a letter from the Pension Service before you turn 80 about the Over 80 pension.  If you have not received a letter, you can contact the Pension Service or, in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Pension Centre. 

In England, Scotland or Wales

Claim online on the Claim your State Pension online of the gov.uk website

Phone the Pension Service:

  • Telephone: 0800 731 7898
  • Textphone: 0800 731 7339
  • Welsh Language Line: 0800 731 7936
  • Textphone: 0800 731 7013

Download a claim form from the Basic State Pension: How to claim page on the gov.uk website.

In Northern Ireland

Claim online on the NI Direct website

Phone the Northern Ireland Pension Centre:

  • Telephone: 0808 100 2658
  • Textphone: 0808 100 2198

Provide documents

You may need to provide these when you claim:

  • Your national insurance number (and partner's, if you have one)
  • Proof of your identity (for example your passport, birth certificate or driving licence)
  • Marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
  • Divorce certificate or civil partnership dissolution certificate.
  • Details of your employment

Receive payments

Your Basic State Pension will be paid directly into your Bank, Building Society or Post Office account.  If you are unable to open or manage an account, you could be paid by Simple Payment.

Basic State Pension is usually paid every four weeks.

Basic State Pension counts as income for other benefits.

6. How do I challenge a Basic State Pension decision?

If you are unhappy with a decision about your Basic State Pension, then you can find out the reasons for it, or ask that it is changed. 

Any decision about your Basic State Pension will be sent to you by letter. The date at the top of the letter is the decision date, which you need to know if you want to challenge the decision.

If you do not understand a decision, you can ask for an explanation. You can request a written statement of reasons by contacting the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) using the details in the decision letter.

If you think a decision is wrong, you can challenge it and ask the DWP to change it. You must do this within a strict time limit, usually one month from the date of the decision.

You can read more about challenging decisions in our Challenging Department for Work and Pensions benefits decisions guide

If you need help to understand a decision or to get it changed, you can use our Find an Advisor tool to find a benefits adviser near you.