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The UK State Pension explained

The Basics

To qualify for any UK state pension you must have a minimum of 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record. Your National Insurance record effectively reflects the National Insurance deductions you paid to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) while working in the UK.

If an individual has less than 10 years but more than 3 years on his/her national insurance record, then they are entitled to make voluntary contributions to enhance their national insurance record.

Pre 5th April 2016
The current standard state pension payment is £125.95 per week. To qualify in full for the weekly payment you had to have a 30 year full national insurance record ie.

30/30 x £125.95 per week

If you had less than 30 years, then you qualified on a proportional basis (subject to having the minimum 10 years). Therefore, if you had 10 years you were entitled to

10/30 x £125.95, or £41.98 per week.

Post 5th April 2016

With effect from 5th April 2016 the standard rate of state pension payment in the UK is £164.35 per week. However, qualify for the full weekly payment you now need a 35 year national insurance record, instead of the previous 30 years. Therefore, an individual with 10 years national insurance record after 5th April 2016 (ie retired in April 2026) will qualify for:

10/35 x £164.35, or £46.96 per week

Individuals who have made contributions before and after 5th April 2016 have a hybrid entitlement to the state pension of both pre and post 5th April 2016 state pension benefits, key to which is the ‘starting amount’.

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