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If you delay or stop taking your State Pension

When you reach your State Pension age, you don’t have to claim your State Pension straight away. You can delay claiming it. If you do delay or stop claiming it, when you do start to take it – you might get extra money. 

How does it work?

You don't usually have to do anything to delay claiming your State Pension. If you don't claim it, it won't be paid to you.

When you decide you want your State Pension to begin, you need to submit a BR1 claim form to the Pension Service.

This is unless you’re receiving certain benefits before you reach State Pension age.  In this case, you’ll need to tell the Pension Service that you want to ‘defer’ taking it.  (In Northern Ireland, this would be the NI Pension Centre.) 

You’ll also need to do this if you’ve already started to receive your State Pension and now want to stop taking it for a time.

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Are you already being paid your State Pension?

You can still decide to stop receiving your State Pension for a period if you want.

However, you can only stop receiving your State Pension once and you should normally be living in the UK.

You can only do this to earn extra State Pension (or a lump sum if you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016) if you’re living in the UK or one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden or Switzerland.

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Will I get more money if I delay claiming it?

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To get an extra amount of State Pension, you need to delay taking it for a minimum amount of time. The amount you get depends on when you reach State Pension age and how long you delay taking it. The longer you delay, the more you’ll get. 

Any extra amount is paid with your State Pension and might be taxable.

Reaching your State Pension Age on or after 6 April 2016?

If you’re reaching State Pension today, or have reached your State Pension since 6 April 2016 and you delay taking our State Pension for at least nine weeks, you’ll be able to get extra State Pension income when you start taking it.

There's no option to take a lump-sum payment. 

Your State Pension will increase by 1% for every nine weeks you put off claiming. This works out at just under 5.8% for every full year you put off claiming.

After you claim, the extra amount you get is taxable and will usually increase each year in line with inflation.

As an example:
If you delayed for:
52 weeks (one year)

Your starting weekly state pension was:

£179.60

The amount of increase would be:

£10.38 (1/9 x £179.60 / 100 x 52)

Your total weekly state pension after delaying:

£189.98

Reached your State Pension age before 6 April 2016?

You need to have delayed claiming your State Pension for at least five weeks. Your extra State Pension will increase at 1% for each five weeks you put off claiming for.

This works out at roughly 10.4% for every full year you put off claiming. The extra income is taxable and will usually increase each year in line with inflation.

Or, rather than take the extra amount as additional income added to your State Pension, if you put off claiming your State Pension for at least 12 months in a row, you can choose to take a lump sum payment instead. This will include interest of 2% above Bank of England base rate. The lump sum is taxable at the same rate as your other income.

What counts towards your extra State Pension?

In general, all the weeks you put off claiming your State Pension will count towards your extra State Pension, but this is not always the case.

You cannot get extra State Pension if you get certain benefits.

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Deferring can also affect how much you can get in benefits.

You must tell the Pension Service if you’re on benefits and you want to defer.

Will you have to pay tax on the extra amount?

If you’ve delayed claiming your State Pension, or stopped getting it for a while, you won’t pay tax on it during the time you’re not getting it.

The tax you pay when you start getting the State Pension you’ve put off receiving will depend on how the money is paid to you.

If you reached State Pension age after 6 April 2016, you’ll receive the State Pension you didn’t get paid in the form of an increased income. This will be taxable as earned income in the normal way.

If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you have a choice.

If you choose to have the State Pension you didn’t get paid as an increased income, this will be taxable as earned income in the normal way.

If you choose to have State Pension you didn’t get paid as a lump sum, this will be taxed at your current rate of Income Tax on your lump sum payment. For example, if you’re a basic rate taxpayer your lump sum will be taxed at 20%.

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