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A reader in their 60s also wants to know about pension credit
Thursday 14 Apr 2022 Author: Daniel Coatsworth

I’m 62 and have worked all my life, what am I likely to receive from the state from age 66 and how does pension credit work?


Tom Selby, AJ Bell Head of Retirement Policy says:

The full flat-rate state pension is worth £185.15 in 2022/23 and you will qualify for it when you turn 66. In order to qualify for the full amount, you need a 35-year National Insurance contribution record.

You need at least a 10-year NI record to qualify for any state pension, with a deduction made for every year of missing NI you have. Once you have a 35-year NI record you cannot build up any more state pension entitlement.

The state pension system was reformed in 2016, meaning millions of people built up rights under a combination of the old system and the new system.

Anyone who built up state pension entitlements under the old system and hadn’t reached state pension age before 6 April 2016 has a ‘foundation amount’ calculated.

Anyone with a foundation amount equal to the full flat-rate state pension at 5 April 2016 would not have been able to build up any extra state pension – even if they added more qualifying years to their National Insurance contributions record.

Those with a foundation amount below the full flat-rate state pension could continue to build up qualifying years via NI contributions and boost their state pension entitlement.

People with a foundation amount worth more than the flat-rate state pension would receive the full flat-rate amount plus a ‘protected payment’ to reflect the extra entitlement built up under the old system. They would not gain any extra pension for further qualifying years they accrue.

Use this link to check your state pension entitlement.

Crucially, it is up to you to claim your state pension from the DWP.

Note that the state pension age is scheduled to increase to 67 by 2028 and 68 by 2046 – although a review of the state pension age is underway and due to be completed in 2023.


Pension credit is another key benefit provided by the state which tends to go unclaimed by lower income retirees.

In 2022/23, if you are over state pension age (66), single and your income is less than less than £182.60 a week then pension credit will top you up to that amount. For a couple, the combined income figure is £287.70.

In relation to pension credit your income includes your state pension, other pensions, employment or self-employment earnings and most social security benefits. As with the state pension, it is up to you to claim pension credit.


Send an email to 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 information 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.

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