Deferring State Pension and what you will get

Once you are four months away from State Pension age, you can either claim your State Pension or delay (defer) claiming it.

What you need to do to defer your State Pension

You can claim your deferred State Pension at any time, it may take six to eight weeks before it is assessed and paid.

Deferring your State Pension could increase the payments you get when you decide to claim it.

Do nothing if you want to defer. Your pension will automatically be deferred until you claim it.

Any extra payments you get from deferring could be taxed.

Deferring if you are on benefits

You cannot get extra State Pension if you get certain benefits. Deferring can also affect how much you can get in benefits.

What you will get

The amount of extra State Pension you could get depends on when you reach State Pension age.

If you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016

Your State Pension increases by one per cent for every nine weeks you defer. This works out as just under 5.8 per cent for every full year. The extra amount is paid with your regular State Pension payment.

Example: You get £159.55 a week (the full new State Pension). This works out as £8,296.60 a year. 

By deferring for one year, you’ll get an extra £479 a year (just under 5.8 per cent of £8,296.60).

This example assumes there is no annual increase in the State Pension. If there is an annual increase, the amount you get could be larger.

If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016

You can take your extra State Pension as either:

  • higher weekly payments, or
  • a one-off lump sum

To be able to receive a lump sum payment you must have reached State Pension age on or before 5 April 2016.

You have three months from when you make your claim to decide how you want to take your extra State Pension.

Higher weekly payments

You get extra weekly State Pension if you defer for at least five weeks.

Your State Pension increases by one per cent for every five weeks you defer. This works out as 10.4 per cent for every full year you defer claiming. The extra amount is paid with your regular State Pension payment.

Example: You get £122.30 a week (the full basic State Pension). This works out as £6,359.60 a year.

By deferring for one year, you’ll get an extra £661 a year (10.4 per cent of £6,359.60).

This example assumes there is no annual increase in the State Pension. If there is an annual increase, the amount you get could be larger.

Lump sum payment

You can get a one-off lump sum payment if you defer claiming your State Pension for at least 12 months in a row. This will include interest of two per cent above the Bank of England base rate.

If you are in prison

You won’t build up extra State Pension until you leave prison.

Annual increases

After you claim your State Pension, the extra amount you get because you deferred will usually increase each year based on the Consumer Price Index. (Gov uk link) It won’t increase for some people who live abroad. Read more in the section below ‘Deferring State Pension if you move abroad’.

Get help

Contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre State Pension claim line if you need help. For more information go to:

Deferring State Pension if you move abroad

The rules for deferring your State Pension are the same as in the UK, if you move to any of the countries in the list below:

If you move to a country that isn’t in the list above, the extra payment you get will stay the same. It won’t go up or down over time.

If you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016

If you move to a country that isn’t in the list above, your extra payment will be based on the State Pension you’re owed at whichever is later of:

  • the date you reach State Pension age
  • the date you move abroad

Contact the International Pension Centre if you need help working out what you could get.

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