If you qualify then you can get a State Pension from the government when you reach your State Pension age. Your State Pension amount is based on your National Insurance contributions and your own circumstances, so not everyone will get the same amount.
A new State Pension was introduced in April 2016 to provide a simpler system for everyone, but your National Insurance record before then will also be taken into account. Find out more about how your State Pension is calculated.
The new State Pension is currently £159.55 a week, which works out around £8,300 a year. It normally gets increased each year.
Your State Pension age is the earliest you can get your State Pension. State Pension age is regularly reviewed by the government and may change in the future, so make sure you regularly check what yours is. If you’re in your forties then you may be affected by recent proposals to increase the State Pension age which affect people born between 1970 and 1978. People born before 1970 or after 1978 aren’t affected by these latest proposals – but everyone should continue to check their State Pension age as there may be changes in the future.
You can get an online forecast of the amount of State Pension you could get, and the earliest date when you can get it.
Your online forecast may also help you spot any gaps in your National Insurance record. You can get National Insurance credits automatically if you’re claiming certain benefits or applied for child benefit for children under 12. But some others you may need to apply for, such as credits if you’re helping care for a family member (like a grandchild). Find out more about National Insurance credits, including how to claim.
A workplace pension is an easy way to save for later life, where you make contributions direct from your pay. When you pay in, in most cases your boss and the government does too.
Make sure you understand how your pension scheme works and how much your pension pot is.
If you don’t save into a workplace pension when you get the chance, or you choose to leave it, then you’re giving up this extra money from your employer and the government.
When you are thinking about a new job or changing jobs, find out about the pension scheme too and how much your employer contributes to it. It’s an important part of your total package. Some employers even match your contributions, so if you pay more in, so will they.
By law, your employer will have to enrol you into a workplace pension if you earn £10,000 a year or more, if you usually work in the UK and you’re not already enrolled in one.
There are other ways to save too, including a personal or stakeholder pension.
If you are self-employed or don’t have the option of a workplace pension, then it’s important to think about saving for later life. There are still pension products out there for you and you might still get tax relief from the government.
You can get impartial advice about pensions from The Pensions Advisory Service. The Money Advice Service can help with advice about retirement planning, savings and managing your money. You can also talk to an independent financial adviser, but you’ll usually have to pay for the advice.