Women and the State Pension

Over the last few years, there have been a number of significant changes to the State Pension entitlement for women.

Women’s State Pension age

The State Pension age is no longer 60 for women. It changed to 65 for women between 2010 and 2018. It is now increasing in stages, alongside men, until it has reached 68.

It’s important to check when you are due to reach your State Pension age as this might change in the future.

A State Pension forecast will also tell you this. 

How much will I get?

The full level of the State Pension is £179.60 a week in the 2021/22 tax year, which gives an annual income of £9,339.20. This may be lower depending on when you reached State Pension age and your National Insurance record.

If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you only needed 30 years to qualify for the full amount.

The amount you get depends on your National Insurance record

You’ll need at least ten years of sufficient payments on file to get any State Pension under the current system.

If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you only needed 30 years to qualify for the full amount. Although the amount you received was made up slightly differently.

Under the old system, you only needed one year to be entitled to any State Pension.

The rules under the old system also meant that if you were married or in a civil partnership and you had not paid enough contributions to receive a basic State Pension yourself, you might be able to receive a pension based on your partner’s contributions. You could get up to 60% of your partner’s basic State Pension.

In both cases, you might be entitled to a higher amount if:

Get a State Pension forecast

A State Pension forecast can tell you:

  • how much State Pension you could get
  • when you can get it
  • how to increase it, if you can.

The amount you are forecast to get assumes you make or are credited with the maximum number of National Insurance credits in the years up to your State Pension age.

The quickest way to check your State Pension forecast is online on the GOV.UK website

If you’ll reach your State Pension age in more than 30 days you can also:

The online version of the forecast also gives you an opportunity to see a summary of your National Insurance contribution history.

Some people might not have the required amount of National Insurance contributions or credits to get the full State Pension, or qualify at all. This might be because of taking career breaks and/or taking care of dependants.

So it’s important to check how much State Pension you qualify for.

You might be able to get National Insurance credits if you’re not paying National Insurance, for example when you’re claiming benefits because you’re a carer, looking after a child under 12 or if you’ve decided to take a career break.

Credits can help to fill gaps in your National Insurance record, to make sure you qualify for certain benefits including the State Pension.

Fill gaps with voluntary National Insurance contributions

If you find that your National Insurance contribution history isn’t enough to give you a full State Pension, you might be able to pay voluntary contributions to increase your entitlement.

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Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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