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New state pension

Discover how the new state pension works and what you should get under the new system.

In this article
What is the new state pension? Who gets the new state pension?
Who will benefit from the new state pension?

What is the new state pension?

After years of complaints about how complicated it is, the state pension changed radically in April 2016.

Prior to that, the state pension was made up of two parts - the basic state pension and the additional state pension.

The new state pension combines those into a single amount, which is higher than the basic state pension.

The full level of new state pension is £185.15 in 2022-23, although you could get more or less than this. 

It's worth knowing at the outset that you won't get any less than what you would have received under the old system.

For more - how much state pension you'll get.


Who gets the new state pension?

If you reached state pension age on or after 6 April 2016, the new state pension applies to you.

To get any state pension, you'll need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record. These are years when you've been either paying National Insurance or receiving National Insurance credits. 

If you reached state pension age before 6 April 2016, the changes won't affect you. 

The old system will apply even if you decided to defer or delay drawing your state pension. 

There's more about the pros and cons of deferring your state pension and topping it up elsewhere in this guide. 

Who will benefit from the new state pension?

Some women and carers are likely to be better off under the new system. 

You get National Insurance credits for things such as being too ill to work, or being a carer or unemployed.

For this group of people, the credits they've earned will count for more than they did previously. 

Likewise, self-employed people are likely to be better off under the new system because their contributions will count for more in the long run. 

The second change is that the number of years of NI contributions you need in order to qualify for the full £185.15 a week has gone up from 30 years to 35 years, although you can make up the difference with some additional state pension. 

Additional state pension - sometimes called second state pension - can boost your pension to more than £185.15 a week. 

If you've been 'contracted out', which means you've been paying less National Insurance but getting a higher private pension, you're likely to have a starting amount of less than £185.15, but you can build up to that level through further contributions if you've enough years left in employment.

For more - what was contracting out?