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Guidance on the practical and emotional aspects at the end of life, from planning end of life care to arranging a funeral and coping with bereavement.

State Pension

Find out about the State Pension, including information on State Pension age and how much you’ll receive.
3 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? What happens to state pension if you move into a care home?

How much is the State Pension?

If you retired before 6 April 2016, the full State Pension (2020-21) is:

£134.25 per week

If you retired after 6 April 2016 or are planning to retire, you'll receive the new State Pension, which in 2020-21 is:

£175.20 per week

To qualify for the full amount, you’ll 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?


By the end of 2018, the State Pension age for women had risen to 65 years, to match the age for men. During 2020, it will be gradually increasing until it reaches 66 years for both men and women by October 2020. It will then rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028. The pension age is constantly under review, so even more changes could be made in future.


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.


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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, call the State Pensions claim line below. To apply, you need to either fill out the printable form BR1 or apply online.


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 to claim.

Use our directory to find local care homes, home care agencies and carer support services across the UK.

What happens to state pension if you move into a care home?

When someone moves into a care home, their eligibility for some state benefits may change. This will depend on whether they are paying for their own care (known as ‘self-funding’) or if a local authority is contributing to the costs.

Find out more about how paying for care may affect your benefits, pension and other income


Further reading

Pension Credit

Pension Credit tops up your state pension if you have a low income. Find out who is eligible and how much you could get.

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: 18 Aug 2020