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Changes to State Pension Age

State Pension age is the age at which you can claim your State Pension. State Pension age for women is changing, so it is important to find out if the changes will affect you. Currently, the State Pension age is 65 for men and 60 for women. But this is going to change to 65 for everyone. The changes are being brought in gradually between 2010 and 2020.

What this means for women

The State Pension age will rise gradually from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2020. This means that the age when you can claim your State Pension depends on when you were born:

  • if you were born on or before 5 April 1950, you can get your State Pension at 60
  • if you were born between 6 April 1950 and 5 April 1955, you can get your State Pension when you are between 60 and 65
  • if you were born on or after 6 April 1955, you can get your State Pension at 65

What choices do you have at State Pension age?

When you reach State Pension age, you can still work if you want to.

You can:

  • stop working and get your State Pension
  • carry on working and get your State Pension as well
  • carry on working and put off claiming your State Pension If you put off claiming your State Pension, you may get a higher weekly State Pension when you do claim it. Currently, you can put off claiming your State Pension for a minimum of seven weeks up to a maximum of five years before claiming your State Pension. If you go on working after State Pension age, you don’t have to carry on paying National Insurance contributions.

Women: things to consider

The amount of State Pension you get depends on the number of years’ National Insurance contributions you have paid, are treated as having paid or have been credited with. For a year to count towards your State Pension, you need a complete National Insurance contribution record for that year. This called a qualifying year. As the State Pension age changes, the number of qualifying years you normally need to get a full State Pension will rise from 39 to 44.

Men: things to consider

The change to State Pension age does not affect men directly. But it may mean that your wife or partner has to wait longer before she can claim her State Pension.  Delaying claiming the State Pension From April 6, 2005 you can choose to delay claiming your State Pension for as long as you want. When you do claim you can choose to get either a larger weekly amount for the rest of your life, or receive a one-off lump-sum payment which will be equivalent to the pension you put off claiming plus interest.

© Crown copyright information issued by Her Majesty’s Government

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