Will I get the old State Pension or the new one?

Posted on: 25 May 2016 by James Hester

This depends on whether you were born before or on or after 6 April 1951 for men or 6 April 1953 for women.

old or new pension

The new State Pension was introduced on 6 April 2016, however not everyone will join the new system. Those already getting State Pension or who reached State Pension age before this date will receive their pension under the old rules. If your State Pension age is on or after 6 April 2016, your pension will be calculated under the new rules. If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 but choose to defer your State Pension, you will get your State Pension under the old rules.



Eligibility for the new State Pension

The earliest you can get the State Pension is when you reach State Pension age.

You’ll usually need a minimum of 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance (NI) record to qualify for any new State Pension. They don’t have to be 10 qualifying years in a row and you don’t necessarily need to be in work, paying NI contributions from your salary, for those 10 years.

However, for at least 10 years in total, you need to be doing one of the following:

  • Working for an employer and paying NI contributions
  • Working for an employer and earning £112 - £155 per week which means receiving credit for NI but not actually paying
  • Working and paying self-employed NI contributions  
  • Getting NI credits, e.g. for unemployment, sickness or as a parent or carer
  • Paying voluntary NI contributions

You may be able to use some of the time you’ve lived or worked abroad to make up the qualifying years to receive a new State Pension.

You may also qualify if in the past you’ve paid married women’s or widow's reduced rate contributions.



State Pension age 

From 6 April 2016, you will be able to claim the new State Pension when you reach State Pension age if you’re a man born on or after 6 April 1951 or a woman born on or after 6 April 1953.

As life expectancy in the UK has been increasing, the Government has made plans to raise the age when you can claim your State Pension. Until 2018 women’s State Pension age is rising to 65 and by 2020 both men and women’s State Pension age will be increasing to 66. By 2028 both men and women’s State Pension age will be increasing to 67. Find out your state pension age.  



Is it better?

The introduction of the new State Pension on 6 April 2016 brings clarity to a system that few people truly understand. The reforms will reduce the need for pensioner means-testing – supporting saving for millions of people.

Under the new rules, the earnings-related part of the State Pension, known as the Additional State Pension, has come to an end, along with other complicated elements of the old rules. The new State Pension will usually be based on your National Insurance (NI) contributions alone.

With people in the UK living longer, it’s more important than ever that you think about how you will finance your later years. Remember, your total income in retirement could be made up of your State Pension, as well as your workplace pension and any private savings you may have built up.

The State Pension is an important income that you could be eligible to receive when you reach State Pension age. If you have gaps in your NI record, you might wish to take steps to fill them by paying voluntary contributions to ensure you get the full rate of the State Pension.

The best way to find out what your State Pension will be is to check your State Pension online.


Further Information

You can find out more about the State Pension at

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