State pension: Is everyone entitled to state pension? Who is eligible for Pension Credit?

The new state pension was introduced in 2016, replacing the basic state pension for those retiring after April 6. The new full pension is presently worth £168.60 per week, but in April 2020 the state pension is due to increase by 3.9 percent to £175.20 per week. Those on the older basic full state pension will also receive an increased weekly income of £134.25.

Is everyone entitled to a state pension?

The new state pension was introduced on April 6, 2016, and if you reached state pension age before this date you’ll continue to receive the basic state pension.

For both the new and basic state pension, you receive a percentage of the full state pension depending on your National Insurance contributions.

But you’ll usually need to have made a minimum of 10 years of National Insurance contributions to be entitled to a new state pension.

To receive the full new state pension, you need 35 qualifying years of contributions.


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If you were of state pension age before changes came in 2016, you need 30 qualifying years to claim the full basic state pension.

If you have gaps in your National Insurance record, you might be able to fill some of these gaps by paying voluntary National Insurance contributions.

You can usually pay voluntary contributions for any gaps in your National Insurance record from the past six years.

Depending on your age, you might be able to pay to fill in gaps made more than six years ago.

What is Pension Credit? Who is entitled to Pension Credit?

If you are of state pension age, you may be entitled to Pension Credit.

If you are eligible for Pension Credit, it can help you boost your weekly income if it is below a certain amount.

Paul Carney, partner and pension expert at national law firm Shoosmiths, told “The Pension Credit is an income related benefit which is paid in accordance with a person’s or couple’s income.


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“It’s paid in two parts; a guarantee credit and a savings credit.

“The former is intended to supplement an individual’s weekly income if it falls below £167.35 for a single person or £255.25 for a couple.

“The latter is an additional payment for individuals who have saved something towards their retirement through, for instance, a pension plan.

“Depending on your circumstances, you can be paid up to an additional £13.73 per week for a single person and £15.35 for a couple, through the savings credit.

“To be eligible for the Pension Credit, you need to have reached state pension age.

“So, if you have not reached it or if you have but have deferred receipt of the state pension, you are not eligible, this also applies to not being self-employed and not owning two or more properties.

“By elimination, this means that you can still be eligible if you own your home and/or are in employment or in receipt of an income, such as a pension.

“As indicated, the credit is determined with reference to your income, so it doesn’t follow that you will be paid the credit irrespective of how much you are being paid.”

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