Most UK residents are eligible for a state pension, currently set at £203.85 per week. However, the amount you receive may vary based on your specific circumstances.
If you anticipate needing additional income in retirement, it's crucial to start planning ahead.
The new UK state pension
The state pension is based on your national insurance contributions. You can claim the new state pension if you were born on or after specific dates, which vary for men and women. The state pension age is determined by your gender and date of birth, and you can continue working after reaching it, as there is no longer a default retirement age in the UK.
There have been changes to the state pension age, with increases planned in the coming years. The rise to age 68 will now occur in 2039, affecting those born between specific dates. Between October 2018 and October 2020, the state pension age will gradually increase to 66 for both men and women by 2020.
The UK government is also planning further increases, with the state pension age set to rise from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2028. These changes aim to align women’s state pension age with men’s and account for increasing life expectancy.
To determine your state pension age, you can use the UK government’s state pension calculator.
Marital status and your state pension
If you are a married woman with insufficient National Insurance (NI) contributions, you may be eligible for a state pension based on your husband’s contributions, provided he is already receiving a basic state pension and you have reached state pension age.
Widows, widowers, and surviving civil partners may also qualify for a state pension based on their late spouse’s NI contributions.
In cases of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, if your NI contributions limit your state pension entitlement, you may be able to claim a basic state pension based on your former spouse’s contributions, even if they are not currently receiving their state pension.
State pensions and retirement
You can continue working, either full or part-time, after starting your state pension without it being affected by your earnings. However, if your state pension is increased due to a dependent, their earnings will impact the amount you receive for them.
If you choose not to claim your state pension when you reach retirement age and delay claiming it for five weeks or more, you can receive a higher income from the state. It’s important to note that you cannot receive backdated pension payments for the weeks you didn’t claim.
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