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Basic State Pension - What if I don't qualify?

Find out more about Basic State Pension.

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

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