You can claim the State Pension when you reach State Pension age, even if you decide to carry on working. The default State Pension age is in the process of being gradually increased over time to reflect the fact that people are now living longer. You can find out your exact State Pension age using the Government's State Pension Age Calculator

The amount that you receive will depend on the date you reach State Pension age and your National Insurance Contributions (NICs) record.

The new State Pension

The Government recently made some changes to the State Pension. For anyone who reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, the basic and additional State Pensions were replaced by a new flat rate pension which is £159.55 per week for the 2017-18 tax year. The amount you get will depend on your National Insurance record; to be entitled to the full amount both men and women will need 35 qualifying years.

However, even if you have 35 or more years of NI contributions you won’t get the full flat rate pension if you’ve been in a contracted out pension scheme for any length of time.

Find out what you may be entitled to by looking at the Government's new State Pension overview

Basic and Additional State Pension

For anyone who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 the basic State Pension is £122.30 per week for the 2017-18 tax year. The Additional State Pension is an extra amount of money you may be entitled to alongside the basic amount.

The overall amount you get depends on your National Insurance contributions and your earnings whilst working.

Deferring your State Pension

You might decide that you're not ready to take your State Pension for a number of reasons and would like to defer it. If you defer claiming your State Pension you may get extra; the amount you receive depends on when you reach State Pension age.

You don't have to do anything to defer it, it'll be deferred automatically until you claim it; unless you receive benefits, in this case you must tell the Pension Service.  

Full details on deferring your State Pension and what you might get can be found on GOV.UK

Find out more here:

The following links to GOV.UK contain further information regarding the State Pension.

What about state benefits?

The way you use your pension pot and the timing of when you access your money could have an impact on your eligibility to state benefits. You should consider how your decisions may impact both now and in the future.

The Government has published the Pension flexibilities and DWP benefits PDF: 30KB fact sheet with further information.

Your next steps

Or move on to the next section

Retirement Options which looks at the different ways you can access your pension pot.