Your National Insurance record and new State Pension

The State Pension age has changed for people reaching State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016. The amount you get will depend on how many qualifying years you paid or were credited with making National Insurance contributions.

This information is for a man born on or after 6 April 1951 or a woman born on or after 6 April 1953

State Pension age before 6 April 2016

If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you can find information on the State Pension arrangements that apply to you at the link below. 

Qualifying years

Your new State Pension age is based on your National Insurance record when you reach State Pension age. You will usually need to have 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any new State Pension. 

You may get less than the new full State Pension if you were contracted out before 6 April 2016.

You may get more than the new full State Pension if you would have had over a certain amount of Additional State Pension under the old rules.

You’ll need 35 qualifying years to get the new full State Pension if you don’t have a National Insurance record before 6 April 2016.

The tax year

The tax year begins on 6 April and ends on 5 April. A qualifying year is a tax year when you:

  • earn enough income to pay National Insurance contributions
  • are treated as having paid or credited with National Insurance contributions

Qualifying years if you’re working

When you’re working you pay National Insurance and get a qualifying year if:

  • you’re employed and earning over £157 a week from one employer
  • you’re self-employed and paying National Insurance contributions

You might not pay National Insurance contributions because you’re earning less than £157 a week. You may still get a qualifying year if you earn between £113 and £157 a week from one employer.

Qualifying years if you’re not working

You may get National Insurance credits if you can’t work because:

  • you are ill or have a disability
  • you’re a carer
  • you’re unemployed

and claim certain benefits such as:

  • Child Benefit for a child under 12 (or under 16 before 2010)
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance

You’re not working or getting National Insurance credits

You might be able to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions if you are not in one of the above groups but want to increase your State Pension amount.

Gaps in your National Insurance record

You can have gaps in your National Insurance record and receive the full new State Pension.

You can get a State Pension statement which will tell you how much State Pension you may get. You can also apply for a National Insurance statement from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to check if your record has gaps.

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