This is a benefit that is payable when you reach pension age. The amount of pension you will receive depends on the number of Social Security contributions you have made.
There are two contribution conditions that must be met for you to get your old age pension:
- You must have made at least 156 contributions that count towards benefit in your working life.
- For your pension to be paid at the full rate you also must have paid an average of at least 50 contributions per year over a 45 year period. This means you need to have 2,250 weekly contributions.
If the first condition is met but the yearly average for the second condition is less than 50 (you have less than 2,250 contributions), you may be entitled to a reduced pension. But, if the yearly average is less than 10, no pension will be payable unless contributions paid to another country can be used to increase the average.
How much will I get?
- The amount of pension you will receive depends on the number of Social Security contributions you have made at any time up to pension age. The rates of pension are set out in Leaflet 50 in the downloads section on this page.
- If you were a married woman on or before 31 December 2003 or a divorced woman on or before 31 December 2004, you may be able to use you husband or ex-husband's contribution record to increase the amount of pension you can receive.
- But, if you are widowed after 31 December 2003 and remarry before you reach pension age, your pension entitlement may be affected. If you have any questions about this or want to discuss your own situation, please contact the Pension & Allowances helpline on 732506.
How do I claim old age pension?
- A letter will be sent to you by Social Security inviting you to claim your pension about three months before you are due to reach pension age (currently aged 65). If your letter does not arrive you should contact the Pensions and Allowances helpline on 732506.
Increase in Pension Age from 2020
- From 2020, the pension age will start to rise. It will go up, over time, from 65 to 70 years old. If you were born before 1 January 1955 the pension age will increase by 2 months annually, beginning on 1 March 2020. A pension age calculator and a pension age table is provided in the downloads section on this page.
- The detailed legislation setting out the change to the pension age can be found in Billet I of 26 January 2016 which is provided in the downloads section of this page.
- Employer information
- If you are an employer you may have some payroll or other IT systems that need to take account of the changes. Frequently asked questions about the increase in pension age along with an employer communication are available in the downloads section of this page.
More detailed information about the old age pension is provided in the Old Age Pension leaflet (Leaflet 15) and the rates of payment are provided in the Benefits and Contributions leaflet (Leaflet 50). They are both available in the downloads section on this page.
If you have an enquiry regarding your pension payment, please contact the Pensions and Allowances helpdesk on 732506. If you have an enquiry regarding your contribution record, pension entitlement, or would like a pension estimate, please contact the Contributions helpdesk on 732502.