Claiming your State Pension entitlement
Claiming your State Pension entitlement
A number of people are surprised that their UK State Pension is not automatically paid to them on the date their pension entitlement starts, but it isn’t. It has to be applied for, and this brief note explains the process.
One important point to bear in mind is that you are not obliged to take your State Pension when it is first offered to you. It can be deferred and the amount you are due will increase every week as long as you defer for at least nine weeks. This is calculated as the equivalent of 1% for every nine weeks you defer, or 5.8% for every 52 weeks.
If you start your claim up to twelve months after you reach State Pension Age, you can ask that the claim is backdated to when your entitlement started. If you start your claim over twelve months after you reach State Pension Age, you will be treated as having deferred your pension. You can still choose to have it backdated but this would mean missing out on the increases you get from deferring your pension.
After you claim your State Pension, the total amount you receive will usually increase each year based on the Consumer Price Index. It will not increase for some people who live abroad.
Making a claim
The procedure for claiming the pension differs slightly depending on where in the UK you are resident, for example there are separate procedures for residents of Northern Island or the Channel Islands.
You should automatically receive a letter from the Government explaining what to do no later than two months before you reach your State Pension age. If you have not received your letter, but are still within three months of reaching your State Pension, age you can still make a claim without it.
You will usually need at least ten qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any State Pension, although you may be able to use time spent abroad to make up the ten qualifying years. This is most likely if you’ve lived or worked in the EEA, Switzerland or Gibraltar.
Applying online at the following link is the quickest way to get your State Pension: Claim your State Pension. Alternatively, you can also phone the Pension Service on 0800 731 7898 to get a State Pension claim form posted to you. This should then be returned to:
Pension Service 8
Post Handling Site B
You may need to provide the following information when making a claim:
• Your National Insurance Number
• Proof of your identity (for example, your passport, birth certificate or driving licence)
• Marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
• Divorce certificate or civil partnership dissolution certificate.
• Details of your employment
Your New State Pension will be paid directly into your bank or building society account every four weeks in arrears, and the payment day will depend on the last two digits of your National Insurance number:
00 to 19 Monday
20 to 39 Tuesday
40 to 59 Wednesday
60 to 79 Thursday
80 to 99 Friday
Please also note the following:
• If you keep working after you reach State Pension age you are entitled to stop paying National Insurance.
• The New State Pension counts as income for other benefits
• If you’ve reached State Pension age and you’re on a low income, you may also qualify for Pension Credit, even if you’ve saved money for retirement
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