Changes to pensions
Changes to the State Pension from 6 April 2010
The State Pension is changing from April 2010. This means more people will qualify for a full basic State Pension. Find out about the most important changes and what they will mean for you.
Qualifying for a State Pension
From April 2010, the way you qualify for a State Pension is changing:
- it will be easier for parents and carers to build up qualifying years of National Insurance and get a State Pension
- to get a full basic State Pension, you will only need 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions
(At the moment, men normally need 44 years and women 39 years.)
- once you have built up a single qualifying year of National Insurance you will qualify for at least some basic State Pension
If you're over 55, or if you care for someone, you should find out how the changes may affect you. You should also find out if you need to take action now.
Changes to the State Pension age
The State Pension age is also changing for most people - this is the age when people can choose to start getting their State Pension.
- Find out more about changes to the State Pension age
What the changes mean to you
What this means to you depends on your circumstances. Some of the most important examples are on this page.
If you are a parent or carer
People reaching State Pension age on or after 6 April 2010 may be able to build up entitlement to the State Pension through new National Insurance credits. You may be eligible for these if you are:
- parents with a dependent child under 12 years of age
- approved foster carers
- people caring for at least 20 hours per week for severely disabled people.
Any awards of Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP) you have from past years will be converted into years of credits.
- Getting credits towards your State Pension
- Changes to State Pensions for parents and carers
If you are close to State Pension age
If you are close to State Pension age, the impact of the changes depends on when you reach State Pension age. You should find out how the changes mean to you. The State Pension Profiler can help you see what this means to you.
If you are married or a civil partner
Currently, some married women can get an increased basic State Pension based on their husband's entitlement. From 6 April 2010, married men and Civil Partners will also be able to do this. And you will not need to wait until your Spouse or partner claims their State Pension.
- Changes to the State Pension for married people and civil partners
If there is an adult who depends on you financially
From 6 April 2010, it will no longer be possible to claim an increase of your State Pension for another adult. This is called an 'Adult Dependency Increase'. It is an increase in your State Pension for a wife, husband or someone who is looking after your children, if he or she is considered to be financially dependent on you.
If you are already entitled to this increase on 5 April 2010, you will be able to keep it until you no longer meet the conditions for the increase or until 5 April 2020, whichever is first.
If you claim your State Pension on or after 6 April 2010, you will not be able to claim an increase for an adult who depends on you financially when you finally claim your State Pension.
If you reach State Pension age before 6 April 2010
If you wish to get an Adult Dependency Increase (ADI) you must do the following things by 5 April 2010:
- claim your State Pension and establish your entitlement
- send in your written claim for an ADI
Your claim for your ADI may be sent today and must be received by your pension centre by 5 April 2010.
Note that you need to post your claim early because of the Easter bank holiday. If your claim is received on 6 April or later you may not be able to get the ADI.
- Claiming the basic State Pension
- Bank holidays and British Summer Time (government, citizens and rights section)
If you already receive the State Pension
If you already receive the State Pension or will reach State Pension age before 6 April 2010, changes to the State Pension will not affect you very much.
However one change that will affect you is that the basic State Pension will increase in line with earnings from 2012 at the earliest. This means it should rise more quickly each year than it does now.
If you are eligible for Pension Credit
If you are aged 60 or over and live in Great Britain you may be entitled to Pension Credit. It guarantees people aged 60 or over a minimum level of income. It also rewards those who have made modest savings for their retirement.
From 2008, the standard minimum guarantee in Pension Credit will continue to rise in line with earnings.
From 6 April 2010 the age that you can get Pension Credit will gradually increase from 60, in line with changes to State Pension age.
Changes to the additional State Pension
The additional State Pension is also changing, although the changes will not come until later than April 2010.
- The additional State Pension and how it is changing
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