Your State Pension is a regular payment from the government that you can claim when you reach your State Pension age.
The State Pension is based on your National Insurance record. It takes into account the National Insurance you built up before the new State Pension was introduced in 2016 as well as contributions and credits since then. This means not everyone will get the same amount.
You’ll normally need at least 10 years of National Insurance contributions or credits to get any new State Pension.
People who don’t have a National Insurance record before 6 April 2016 will need 35 qualifying years to get the full amount of new State Pension when they reach State Pension age. This is usually people in the UK who began working after 6 April 2016.
People who do have a National Insurance record before 6 April 2016 will have their National Insurance record before then taken into account when their new State Pension is calculated. If you qualify for the new State Pension, the amount you will get for your record up to 6 April 2016 is no less than you would have got under the old rules. Find out more about how the new State Pension is calculated.
National Insurance contributions help towards the State Pension, other benefits and funding for the NHS.
You pay National Insurance contributions when you are in work, but you can also get National Insurance credits if you are claiming benefits. You may be eligible for credits if you receive disability benefits, are a carer, bringing up children or you are a military spouse. Some credits are given to you automatically but you will need to apply for others.
It is important you apply for Child Benefit even if you do not receive any payments to make sure that you still get the National Insurance credit.
Use the Check your State Pension service to view your National Insurance record. This can help you identify any gaps in your record.