There used to be an excellent explanation, summary and history of the state pension on a DWP web page. A copy was taken in case it disappeared. The Pension Age used to be 60 for women and 65 for men but that is gradually being aligned and increased. Entitlement depends on National Insurance contributions.
For 2017-18 the standard rate of the old retirement pension is £122.30 per week and the new state pension is £159.55. Note that to get the full new state pension there are new rules on National Insurance contributions and it is reported that many recipients are disappointed with their entitlement.
The various categories of pension are:
- Category A - pension based on a person's own contribution.
- Category B - pension based on a partner's contribution, currently £69.50 if they are still drawing their state pension, otherwise £115.95.
- Category C - payable those over State pension age in 1948 or their widows [see note 1].
- Category D - payable at age 80 to those who do not qualify for an A or B pension and who meet other conditions.
The amounts shown in the rightsnet extract for A and B contributary pensions are for cases with full National Insurance contributions, otherwise they will be reduced pro rata. Categories C and D are non-contributory.
- For the current pension, those qualifying up to 5th April 2016, the required NI contibutions are 30 years (see gov.uk).
- Previously for men born before April 1945 the requirement for a full pension was 44 years and for any pension at all 11 years. For women born before April 1950 it was 39 and 10 years.
- See below for the new state pension.
"The age at which women reach State Pension age is gradually increasing from 60 to 65 between April 2010 and April 2016 to November 2018. Under current legislation, State Pension age for men and women is planned to increase to: 66 between November 2018 and October 2020; 67 between 2034 and 2036; 68 between 2044 and 2046." (DWP) Click the gov.uk logo for a pension age calculator.
So, a pension can be reduced from the standard amount by having insufficient NI contributions. It may also be increased in a variety of ways:
- Age Addition: pensioners over 80 get an extra 25p per week (that's equivalent to a ¼lb of tea nearly every fortnight if you shop around).
- Deferment: by delaying the date on which you take your pension, you can increase the weekly payment or generate a lump sum and then get your normal entitlement. For those reaching pension age before April 2016, the pension increases by 1% for every 5 weeks defered (10.4% per full year). See gov.uk. Before April 2005, the increase was about 7.5% for each year of deferment. For deferment after April 2016, see below.
- GRB, Graduated Retirement Benefit: operated between 1961 and 1975 and allowed additional contributions to result in a higher pension. See r4s.
- SERPS, State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme : from 1978 until 2002, collected from those in employment earning over a certain amount. See gov.uk.
- S2P, the State Second Pension: replaced SERPS from 2002 to 2016 and relates to earnings and receipt of some benefits. See gov.uk.
- SERPS and S2P are part of the ASP, Additional State Pension: You can receive extra payments from both schemes. Some employers and employees contracted out of these schemes, see NI Direct.
- IVA, Invalidity Addition: paid to those receiving certain invalidity benefits in the 8 weeks befire reach pension age. See r4s.
These are designed to
|Gov.uk, the official version.|
|Rights for Seniors, a good online source of information.|
|Age UK factsheet, a detailed (32 page) document.|
1. The operative date for this is 5 July 1948, so a primary qualifying person at the time of writing (Feb 2016) would be at least 132 years old (127 for a woman). Qualifying widows, assuming they married a 65-year-old pensioner when age 18 themselves in 1948, would be 85+. The rights4seniors link states, "There are only a small number of (if any) Category C cases still in payment".