What is the State Pension?

The State Pension is a regular payment from the Government that you can claim once you reach State Pension age, even if you're still working.

The amount of money you're entitled to receive from the Government will depend on:

  • The date you reach State Pension age,
  • The date you start taking your State Pension, and
  • Your National Insurance Contributions (NICs) record at the time you wish to start taking your State Pension.

There are two types of State Pension.

  • The basic State Pension, and
  • New State Pension.

Which State Pension can I claim?

Your entitlement and your State Pension age both depend on the date you were born. Your State Pension is not automatically paid when you reach State Pension age - instead you will need to claim it from the Government.

There’s more information, including calculators to show your exact State Pension age and the income you may be entitled to, on State Pension age.

Basic state pension


  • men born before 6 April 1951
  • women born before 6 April 1953

New state pension


  • men born on or after 6 April 1951
  • women born on or after 6 April 1953

Do I have to take my State Pension straight away?

No, you don’t have to take the income from your State Pension straight away – you can defer it until you need it.

If you do defer the start of your State Pension, it could increase the payments you get when you decide to claim it. For example, the basic State Pension increases by 1% for every nine weeks you defer, or 5.8% for every complete year.

Any extra payments you get as a result could be taxed. Payments will be taxable depending on an your individual tax status.

How do I defer the start of my State Pension income?

You don’t need to do anything. Your pension will automatically be deferred until you start to claim it.

How will my benefits be affected?

The income you receive from your State Pension could affect your benefits, whether or not you defer the start of your State Pension.

Your next steps

Your pension options

Read about the different ways you can access your pension pot.