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2 Oct 2019

State pension to rise at least 4% next year: how much will you get?

Millions of pensioners are on track to get a bumper £351 pay rise in April 2020

Millions of pensioners will receive at least a 4% pay rise next year, in line with annual wage growth - the biggest increase since 2012.

Pensioners would see their payments rise by up to £351 a year.

The state pension is protected by the 'triple lock', which means it increases each April by the greater of price inflation, earnings growth or 2.5%.

While September's inflation figures are yet to be released, pensioners are currently on track to earn a 4% bump in line with workers for the second year running.

Here we explain how the state pension is likely to rise next year and what a 4% increase means for your weekly payments.

Update: on 15 October, the government revised earnings to 3.99%. Find out how much state pension you'll get in 2020.

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How will the state pension rise in 2020?

No one knows for sure yet.

The government uses September's consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation, and the three-month average of earnings from July, to work out the state pension uprating.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will reveal September's CPI - the final part of the puzzle - on 16 October. But it's highly unlikely to be higher than earnings growth, which reached an 11-year high of 4% this year.

In contrast, the most recent figures show inflation fell from 2.1% in July to 1.7% in August and is currently at its lowest level since December 2016.

With inflation at a record low, it's likely that average earnings will be used to uprate the state pension for the second year running. The table below offers a recap of how the triple lock has increased the state pension since 2012.

Tax yearSeptember inflation (CPI)Averages earnings (May to July)Guaranteed minimumWhich part of the triple lock used to uprate state pension?
6 April 20125.2%2.7%2.5%Inflation (CPI)
6 April 20132.2%1.5%2.5%Guaranteed minimum
6 April 20142.7%1.2%2.5%Inflation (CPI)
6 April 20151.2%0.6%2.5%Guaranteed minimum
6 April 2016-0.1%2.9%2.5%Average earnings
6 April 20171%2.4%2.5%Guaranteed minimum
6 April 20183%2.3%2.5%Inflation (CPI)

What the state pension will pay in 2020

At this stage, millions of pensioners will enjoy the biggest pay rise since 2012 with at least a 4% boost to payments.

Pensioners who are entitled to the full new single-tier state pension will be paid £175.40 a week from 6 April 2020 - up from £168.60.

The total income for this group will jump to £9,118.20, up from £8,767.20 this year.

Pensioners that reached state pension age before April 2016, and receive the basic state pension, will see their weekly payment rise from £129.20 to £134.35 per week from next year.

As a result, their total income will rise from £6,718.40 to £6,986.20 a year.

New state pension (weekly)New state pension (annual)Basic state pension (weekly)Basic state pension (annual)
6April 2019 - 5April 2020£168.60£8,767.20£129.20£6,718.40
6April 2020 - 5April 2021£175.35£9,118.20£134.35£6,986.20

Figures rounded to nearest 5p

What will happen to the additional state pension?

If you reached state pension age before April 2016, your state pension is made up of two amounts: the basic state pension and an additional state pension.

The additional state pension is not linked to the triple-lock guarantee and is increased by CPI inflation each year.

The same goes for the lifetime allowance (LTA), which is the total amount you can save across your pensions tax-free.

This means those entitled to the basic state pension, and those saving into a pension, will have to wait until 16 October to get the overall 2020 outlook.

How to check your state pension

The state pension is a benefit paid by the government once you reach state pension age.

The amount you receive is based on the number of National Insurance Contributions (NICs) you make.

You need at least 35 qualifying years of contributions to get the full new state pension and at least 10 years to get anything at all.

If you reached state pension age before April 2016, you need 30 years' of NICs to get the full basic state pension.

If you have yet to reach state pension age, you can get a state pension forecast using the government's 'check your state pension' website through your personal tax account.