New DWP guidelines for when you can receive a full state pension | Personal finance | Finance

It is important to start thinking about your pension at an early age, so that you have some security when you retire. State pension is a contributory payment and the amount you receive is determined by how long you have contributed to National Insurance (NI).

The new full state pension is £185.15 a week, but Department for Work and Pensions data has revealed less than half of claimants actually receive this amount, The Daily Record reports.

The 2019 study found that just under 500,000 of the 1.1 million people applying for the new state pension receive the full amount.

The UK government has raised the state pension age to 66 for both men and women in 2020. There are plans to raise this age to 68 over the next few years.

The actual amount you get depends on your national insurance record. Your National Insurance record before 6 April 2016 is used to calculate your “starting amount”.

To qualify for the new full state pension you will need at least 10 qualifying years on your NI record to get a state pension and they do not have to be 10 consecutive qualifying years.

This means that for 10 years, at least one of the following applies to you:

If you have lived or worked abroad, you may still be able to get a new state pension.

You may also be eligible if you have paid reduced rate dues for married women or widows – find out about this on the GOV.UK website here.

You will need 35 years of qualification to receive the new full state pension if you do not have an NI record before April 6, 2016.

For people who contributed between the ages of 10 and 35, they are entitled to part of the new state pension.

Qualifying years if you work

When you work, you pay NI and get a qualifying year if:

You may not pay NI dues because you earn less than £190 a week.

You can still get a qualifying year if you earn between £123 and £190 a week with an employer.

Qualifying years if you are not working

You can get NI credits if you cannot work – for example due to illness or disability, or if you are a carer or are unemployed.

You can earn NI credits if you:

  • Applying for family allowances for a child under 12 (or under 16 before 2010).

  • Get Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.

  • Get childcare allowance.

If you don’t work or earn NI credits

You may be able to pay voluntary NI contributions if you don’t belong to one of these groups but want to increase the amount of your state pension.

Learn more about the GOV.UK website here.

What if there are gaps in your NI record?

You can have gaps in your NI record and still get the new full state pension.

You can get a State pension statement which will tell you how much state pension you can get.

You can then request an NI declaration from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to check if your file has any gaps.

If you have gaps in your NI record that would prevent you from getting the new full state pension, you may be able to:

Check your national insurance record here.

Check your state pension age

Check your state pension age using the free online tool here.

This will tell you:

  • When you reach the legal retirement age.
  • Your age of eligibility for the pension credit.
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