The new State Pension
You’ll be able to claim the new State Pension if you’re:
- a man born on or after 6 April 1951
- a woman born on or after 6 April 1953
You can get a State Pension forecast to find out how much you could get and when.
You can still get a State Pension if you have other income like a personal pension or a workplace pension. You might have to pay tax on your State Pension. There are different rules if you live abroad.
How to claim
You will not get your new State Pension automatically - you have to claim it. You should get a letter no later than 2 months before you reach State Pension age, telling you what to do.
If you have not received an invitation letter, but you are within 4 months of reaching your State Pension age you can still make a claim.
The quickest way to get your State Pension is to apply online.
As well as the State Pension you could qualify for other benefits. Some of these depend on your age, others on your income. Together they can go a long way towards meeting the cost of living.
- free NHS prescriptions for over 60s
- free NHS eye test for over 60s
- a winter fuel allowance, currently only for those born before 5th May 1953
Plus, if you already receive benefits such as Pension Credit, you could get more support towards your health costs.
If you have reached State Pension age and have a low income, you could claim Pension Credits to top-up your weekly income to £173.75* if you are single and £265.20* if you are a couple.
Claiming Pension Credit also opens up other State benefits:
For your health:
- free NHS dental treatment
- help towards the cost of glasses
- help with hospital travel costs
- a Cold Weather Payment of £25 when the temperature is 0°C or below for seven days in a row
For your home:
- lower or no Council Tax if you live alone
- your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit
- help with mortgage interest, ground rent and service charges
If you are a carer:
- a Carer Premium worth up to £67.25 a week
Any one of these could really help with your living costs, so they are worth looking into.
* Figures taken from gov.uk
Means tested benefits
Taking a lump sum from your pension pot can affect any means-tested benefits you may be receiving; they could stop or reduce. Make sure you check to see if taking your pension alters your benefit situation. Visit Pension wise for more information.