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State Pension

Find out about the State Pension, including information on State Pension age and how much you’ll receive.
2 min read
In this article
How much is the State Pension? What age do I get my State Pension? What do I need to know about claiming the State Pension? 
How do I claim my State Pension?

How much is the State Pension?

If you retired before 6 April 2016, the full State Pension (2018–19) is:

£125.95 per week

If you retired after 6 April 2016 or are planning to retire, you'll receive the new State Pension, which in 2018–19 is:

£164.35 per week

To qualify for the full amount, you will have had to be working for 35 years and paid National Insurance during this time. There are also other factors to take into consideration. See the Which? Money information on State Pension for further guidance.


What age do I get my State Pension?


For men, it’s 65 years and it’s gradually increasing for women – currently it’s 63 years, which increases to 65 years by November 2018. From December 2018, the State Pension age will rise for both men and women. In October 2020, it will be 66 years and it will rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

The precise age you become entitled to the State Pension depends on when you were born.

Use the Which? Money State Pension age calculator to forecast when you’ll be entitled to claim your State Pension. This uses your date of birth to calculate when you’ll hit State Pension age, and gives an estimate of how much you should be entitled to.


What do I need to know about claiming the State Pension? 

You’ll have to pay tax on your pension if your total income (including work, income from property, private and State Pensions) is more than your annual tax-free allowance. Personal allowances change each year and are dependent on age. For more details, visit Which? Money guidance on personal allowances.


If you decide to carry on working past the official retirement age, you can still claim your State Pension. But if you choose to defer payments, this can increase the amount that you get when you do eventually claim.The State Pension is included in the financial assessment for home care or for residential care.

How do I claim my State Pension?

You need to apply for the State Pension – it doesn’t arrive automatically. You should receive a letter four months before you reach State Pension age.


You’ll need this letter to complete your claim. If you don’t receive the letter, contact the pensions claim line. To apply, you need to fill in form BR1.


Call the State Pension claim line to apply:

0800 731 7898

Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm, except public holidays

Download the form and print a paper copy to post:

View BR1 form

Fill out an interactive form online:

Online form

For an online application, you need to sign up for a Government Gateway account. If you don't already have one, you’ll need to wait a week to receive your activation code by post.


The form is long, so set aside a reasonable amount of time to fill it in. 


In Northern Ireland, the application procedure is slightly different. You’ll need to visit nidirect.gov.uk to claim.

Further reading

Pension Credit

Learn about the two parts of Pension Credit – guarantee credit and savings credit – with information on ...

Benefits for older people

Read about the benefits available in later life: Attendance Allowance, PIP, Winter Fuel Payment and more.

Attendance Allowance

Read about Attendance Allowance and the payment rates, plus tips on applying and completing the form.

Last updated: 16 Jan 2019