When will I receive the state pension?
I celebrated my 61st birthday in June and I’m starting to think about when I’ll retire. I’ve got my private pensions sorted but I’m struggling to figure out when I’ll get my state pension.
Is there a chance the date will change? The thought of a moving target is pretty unnerving. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Tom Selby, AJ Bell Senior Analyst says:
The state pension is the foundation upon which you can build your retirement plan.
While for most people it isn’t enough to fund their standard of living when they stop working, the guaranteed income stream it provides is a useful starting point.
The new flat-rate state pension pays a maximum of £168.60 a week, although those who built up rights under the pre-2016 system or have gaps in their National Insurance record could get more or less.
It is also currently protected by the so-called ‘triple-lock’, meaning it rises each year in line with the highest of average earnings, CPI inflation or 2.5%.
Aside from the amount you receive from the state, the other key element is the age at which you receive it. This remained unchanged between the end of the Second World War and 2010, with women entitled to the state pension at 60 and men at 65.
The 1995 Pensions Act set in train equalisation of women’s and men’s state pension ages at age 65 between 2010 and 2020. This timetable was controversially accelerated by the 2011 Pensions Act, bringing forward the equalisation date to 2018 followed by two years of phased increases to age 66 by 2020.
The subsequent 2014 Pensions Act took this a step further, creating legislation to increase the state pension age to 67 by 2028. The state pension age is due to increase again to age 68 by 2039. Each of these rises will be phased in over a two-year period.
Under the existing timetable you should therefore receive your state pension from your 66th birthday onwards in 2024.
And while the state pension, like most other things, is subject to the whims of politicians, the Government has said any further increases in the state pension age will give people at least 10 years’ notice.
This commitment is designed to give people confidence the goalposts won’t be constantly shifted as they plan their retirement.
For readers who want to check their state pension age, the Department for Work and Pensions has a handy calculator here.
DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION ON RETIREMENT ISSUES?
Send an email to email@example.com with the words ‘Retirement question’ in the subject line. We’ll do our best to respond in a future edition of Shares.
Please note, we only provide guidance and we do not provide financial advice. If you’re unsure please consult a suitably qualified financial adviser. We cannot comment on individual investment portfolios.