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When do I get my pension?

Depending on the different pensions you have, you’ll be able to access different parts of your retirement income at different times.

Pension Basics

Personal or Private pensions

Currently, you’re able to access your personal or private pension at 55. This is expected to rise to 57 by 2028.  

Workplace pensions

If your workplace pension is a defined contribution pension (DC) you’ll likely be able to claim your pension at 55, like a personal pension.

If you have a defined benefit pension (DB) then your workplace pension scheme may have set a specific retirement age. This might be 60 or 65. You’ll need to check your paperwork to see what your options are. 

What age do you have to be to get the state pension?

Currently, you can claim your State Pension when you are 66. 

Over the last ten years or so, the state pension age has changed considerably. First, for women, it was increased from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2018, and since then (for both women and men) it’s been raised to 66.

The state pension age is due to increase to 67 by 2028 and then raised further to 68 between 2037 and 2039.

How do I know if I’m eligible for the state pension?

Whether you can claim the State Pension, and how much you’ll receive is dependent on the National Insurance contributions you make during your working life and how many ‘qualifying years’ you have built up.

You’ll need to have 10 years of National Insurance contributions to receive the bare minimum (Currently, around £50 a week). To receive the maximum State Pension amount, you’ll need to have 35 ‘qualifying’ years.

How do I calculate the state pension I might get?

Visit the State Pension calculator at gov.uk to check your National Insurance Contribution record. You just need to answer a few simple questions to find out how much State Pension you could receive. It will also tell you when you can claim it and how you can potentially gain some qualifying years to help boost your State Pension income.  

What makes a year ‘qualifying’?

There are different criteria that you can meet to make a year count towards your State Pension:

  • You were employed and earning over £183 a week (2020/21) from one employer
  • You were employed and earning between £120 and £183 a week (2020/21) from one employer and are treated as having paid National Insurance Contributions
  • You’re self-employed and paying National Insurance Contributions
  • You make voluntary National Insurance contributions
  • You receive National Insurance credits, for example, if you claim Child Benefit for a child under 12 or claim Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support allowance or a Careers allowance. 

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