Additional State Pension
Additional State Pension, also known as the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) and State Second Pension, is an extra amount of money you could get on top of your basic State Pension if you’re a man born before 6 April 1951 or a woman born before 6 April 1953.
This information is for a man born before 6 April 1951 or a woman born before 6 April 1953.
Find out below who can get Additional State Pension.
You reached State Pension age on/after 6 April 2016
You will not get the Additional State Pension if you reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016. You’ll get the new State Pension.
You reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016
If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 and started claiming the basic State Pension, you’ll automatically get any Additional State Pension you’re eligible for. There is no need to make a separate claim.
You may not get any Additional State Pension for periods when you were contracted-out of it. Read more in ‘Contracting out’ below.
When you have contributed to the Additional State Pension
The Additional State Pension is made up of three schemes.
You might have contributed to more than one, depending on:
- how long you’ve been working
- whether you chose to top up your State Pension
|2002 to 2016||State Second Pension||You were employed or claiming certain benefits|
|1978 to 2002||State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS)||You were employed|
|12 October 2015 to 5 April 2017||State Pension top up||You reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 and opted in|
The State Second Pension since 2002
You contributed towards your Additional State Pension through your National Insurance contributions if at any time between 6 April 2002 and 5 April 2016 you were:
- employed and earning over the lower earnings limit of £5,824 in the 2015 to 2016 tax year
- looking after children aged under 12 and claiming Child Benefit
- caring for a sick or disabled person more than 20 hours a week and claiming Carer’s Credit
- working as a registered foster carer and claiming Carer’s Credit
- receiving certain other benefits due to illness or disability
How to claim and what you will get
You do not have to do anything to claim the Additional State Pension.
If you are eligible for an Additional State Pension, you will automatically get it when you claim your State Pension.
After you claim, the Pension Service will write to you and tell you how much you will be getting.
There is no fixed amount for the additional State Pension. How much you get depends on:
- how many years you paid National Insurance for
- your earnings
- whether you contracted out of the scheme
- whether you topped up your Basic State Pension (this was only possible between 12 October 2015 and 5 April 2017)
How you’re paid
The Additional State Pension is paid with your basic State Pension into your bank account.
If you were employed before April 2016, you were probably contracted out at some point. Almost all public sector workers were contracted out – for example, NHS workers, council workers and teachers.
You could only contract out of the Additional State Pension if your employer ran a contracted-out workplace pension scheme. You should check this with them.
While you were a member of a contracted-out workplace pension you did not contribute to the Additional State Pension. In some cases, you could get the Second State Pension even if you did not contribute, for example if your earnings were low.
You cannot contract out after 6 April 2016. If you were contracted out, your National Insurance contributions increased to your standard rate after this date.
The extra pension you get from a contracted-out workplace pension scheme is usually the same as, or more than, the Additional State Pension you would have got, if you hadn’t contracted-out.
If you are under State Pension age
Check your State Pension forecast. If you were contracted out, your forecast will include a ‘Contracted-Out Pension Equivalent’ estimate.
If you are over State Pension age
Check your payslips from before 6 April 2016. If you have any payslips with the category letters D, E, L, N or O then you were contracted out.
You can also ask:
- your employers
- your pension providers
The Pension Tracing Service might be able to find your pension providers’ contact details if you’ve lost contact with them.
National Insurance while contracting out
You paid lower National Insurance contributions while you were contracted out if:
- you earned between £155 and £770 a week
- you were under State Pension age
- you didn’t pay reduced rate National Insurance
What will happen when you retire
You’ll get a pension from your employer’s workplace pension scheme.
Inheriting Additional State Pension
If your spouse or civil partner dies, you may be able to inherit part of their Additional State Pension. Contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre to check what you can claim and how.
Maximum State Second Pension you can inherit
You can inherit up to 50 per cent of your spouse or civil partner’s State Second Pension.
Maximum SERPS pension you can inherit
The maximum you can inherit depends on when your spouse or civil partner died.
If they died before 6 October 2002, you can inherit up to 100 per cent of their SERPS pension.
If they died on or after 6 October 2002, the maximum SERPS pension and State Pension you can inherit depends on their date of birth.
|Man’s date of birth||Woman’s date of birth||Maximum % of their SERPS you can inherit|
|5 October 1937 or before||5 October 1942 or before||100%|
|6 October 1937 to 5 October 1939||6 October 1942 to 5 October 1944||90%|
|6 October 1939 to 5 October 1941||6 October 1944 to 5 October 1946||80%|
|6 October 1941 to 5 October 1943||6 October 1946 to 5 October 1948||70%|
|6 October 1943 to 5 October 1945||6 October 1948 to 6 July 1950||60%|
|6 October 1945 and after||6 July 1950 and after||50%|
If your spouse or civil partner died within 90 days of topping up their State Pension, the top up should have been refunded to their estate (their total property, money and belongings), minus any payments they received before they died. This means you will not inherit the top up as part of their Additional State Pension.
How it's paid
Any Additional State Pension you inherit will be paid on top of your State Pension when you reach State Pension age.
You get your own Additional State Pension
The maximum amount of Additional State Pension you get is £204.68 per week. The limit does not include State Pension top up.
You get Widowed Parent’s Allowance
You may inherit Additional State Pension before you reach State Pension age. You’ll stop receiving it if your Widowed Parent’s Allowance ends.
You may receive it again when you reach State Pension age if you were over 45 when you were entitled to Widowed Parent’s Allowance.
If your Widowed Parent’s Allowance or Bereavement Allowance ended before you were 55, you’ll receive less Additional State Pension.
For more information go to the following page:
When you cannot inherit Additional State Pension
You cannot inherit your spouse or civil partner’s Additional State Pension if you remarry or form another civil partnership before you reach State Pension age.
The date you reach State Pension age also affects whether you can inherit Additional State Pension.
You reached State Pension age before 6 April 2010
You cannot inherit your spouse or civil partner’s Additional State Pension if they died before they reached their State Pension age and after you reached yours.
This doesn’t apply if you’re a woman who was married to:
- a man
- a woman who legally changed their gender from male to female during your marriage
You reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016
You cannot inherit your spouse or civil partner’s Additional State Pension if either
- your spouse or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2016 and reached (or would have reached) State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016
- you started your marriage or civil partnership on or after 6 April 2016
If you get divorced
If you get divorced or your civil partnership is dissolved, the court can decide that your Additional State Pension should be shared as part of the financial settlement.
You’ll have to fill in the Pensions and divorce or dissolution BR20 form to give details of your Additional State Pension.