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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Social security benefits: the State pension

Part 9 Chapter 5 ITEPA 2003

The State pension is a contributory benefit based on the payment of National Insurance contributions.

The State pension is commonly called the National Insurance retirement pension, the State retirement pension or the social security retirement pension.

The State pension is taxable as pension income (see EIM74600).

Who qualifies for the State pension?

An individual qualifies for the State pension if he or she reaches pensionable age and satisfies the contribution conditions.

State pension age is currently 65 for men. Since April 2010, State pension age for women has been increasing on a sliding scale and will reach 65 by November 2018.

From December 2018, State pension age for men and women will rise on a sliding scale and reach 66 by October 2020.

War widows (see EIM76103) and industrial widows (see EIM76200) over the age of sixty may be entitled to the State pension by virtue of their National Insurance contributions. Where this happens the State pension will be paid in addition to the war or industrial widow’s pensions.

State pension Lump Sum

An individual who qualifies for the State pension may choose to defer claiming the State pension either by not making a claim on reaching pensionable age or notifying the Department for Work and Pensions of the choice to stop a current claim. If the person defers for a period of more than 12 months beginning on or after 6 April 2005, then that person may receive the pension foregone as a lump sum.

The State pension Lump Sum is taxable (see EIM74650).