3. Eligibility

You reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016

You’re not eligible for Additional State Pension if you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016. You’ll get the new State Pension.

You reach State Pension age before 6 April 2016

If you reach State Pension age before 6 April 2016 and start claiming the basic State Pension you’ll automatically get any Additional State Pension you’re eligible for. There is no need to make a separate claim.

You may not get any Additional State Pension for periods when you were contracted out of it.

When you have contributed to the Additional State Pension

The Additional State Pension is made up of 2 schemes. You might have contributed to both, depending on how long you’ve been working.

The main difference between the 2 schemes is that since 2002 you also contribute to the Additional State Pension if you’re claiming certain benefits or have lower earnings.

Time Scheme Eligibility
2002 to 2016 State Second Pension You’re employed or claiming certain benefits
1978 to 2002 State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) You were employed

The State Second Pension since 2002

You contribute towards your Additional State Pension through your National Insurance contributions when you’re:

  • employed and earning over the lower earnings limit of £5,772 in the 2014 to 2015 tax year
  • looking after children under 12 and claiming Child Benefit
  • caring for a sick or disabled person more than 20 hours a week and claiming Carer’s Credit
  • working as a registered foster carer and claiming Carer’s Credit
  • receiving certain other benefits due to illness or disability

You’re not eligible if you’re:

  • employed and earning less than £5,772 per year
  • self-employed
  • unemployed
  • in full-time training