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UK State pensions
are available starting from age 65 for men and age 60 for women who
were born on or before April 5, 1950. If a woman is born on or after
April 6, 1950, then the State Pension age will increase from 60 to
65 between 2010 and 2020. For both men and women, the age will
increase from 65 to 68 between 2024 and 2046.
In order to claim a UK State pension, you must have built up enough
“qualifying years” in which you have earned enough to pay or been
credited with paying National Insurance contributions on your
income. Men are currently required to have 44 qualifying years, and
women are currently required to have 39 qualifying years in order to
receive the full basic UK State Pension.
If you’ve been caring for children or someone long-term and haven’t
paid enough National Insurance credits due to your caretaker
responsibilities, you may still be eligible under the Home
Responsibilities Protection. Home Responsibilities Protection can
reduce the number of required qualifying years in order for you to
receive the basic UK State Pension given that you reach State
Pension age before April 6, 2010. If you reach State Pension age on
or after April 6, 2010, the Home Responsibilities Protection is
automatically being replaced with National Insurance credits.
Once you reach State Pension age, you can decide to claim your
pension right away, claim it later on and receive an increased
amount, or agree to a taxable one-off lump-sum payment in addition
to the basic State Pension.
Your individual circumstances will dictate the amount received, but
as a general guide for 2009-2010, the full basic State Pension is
£95.25 a week per single person and £152.30 a week per couple.
Note that there are different rules for UK State Pension eligibility
depending on your pension age. If you reach State Pension age before
April 6, 2010 and you don't qualify for the full basic State
Pension, you can still qualify for a weekly basic State Pension
which will disburse between £23.81 per week and £95.25 per week in
2009-2010, given that you have reached 25% or more of the necessary
If, however, you have not reached 25% of the necessary qualifying
years, you will not normally be eligible to receive basic State
Pension but exceptions do apply. Always check with your local
pension centre for more information on your individual
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