4. How it's calculated

The full new State Pension is £159.55 per week. What you’ll receive is based on your National Insurance record.

Valuing your National Insurance contributions and credits made before 6 April 2016

Your National Insurance record before 6 April 2016 is used to calculate your ‘starting amount’. This is part of your new State Pension.

Your starting amount will be the higher of either:

  • the amount you would get under the old State Pension rules (which includes basic State Pension and Additional State Pension)
  • the amount you would get if the new State Pension had been in place at the start of your working life

Your starting amount will include a deduction if you were contracted out of the Additional State Pension. You may have been contracted out because you were in a certain type of workplace, personal or stakeholder pension.

If your starting amount is less than the full new State Pension

You can get more State Pension by adding more qualifying years to your National Insurance record after 5 April 2016. You can do this until you reach the full new State Pension amount or reach State Pension age - whichever is first.

Each qualifying year on your National Insurance record after 5 April 2016 will add about £4.56 a week to your new State Pension. The exact amount you get is calculated by dividing £159.55 by 35 and then multiplying by the number of qualifying years after 5 April 2016.

Example

You had a starting amount from your National Insurance record before 6 April 2016 of £120 a week.

You have another 5 qualifying years on your National Insurance record after 5 April 2016 (each year adding about £4.56 a week to your State Pension) equalling £22.79 a week.

This adds up to about £142.79 a week for your State Pension. This figure may change as the starting amount is adjusted to account for inflation.

If your starting amount is more than the full new State Pension

The part of your starting amount which is above the full new State Pension is called your ‘protected payment’. This is paid on top of the full new State Pension.

Any qualifying years you have after 5 April 2016 won’t add more to your State Pension.

You didn’t make National Insurance contributions or get National Insurance credits before 6 April 2016

Your State Pension will be calculated entirely under the new State Pension rules.

You’ll usually need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any State Pension.

You’ll need 35 qualifying years to get the full new State Pension.

You’ll get a proportion of the new State Pension if you have between 10 and 35 qualifying years.

Example

You have 20 qualifying years on your National Insurance record after 6 April 2016.

You divide £159.55 by 35 and then multiply by 20.

Your new State Pension will be about £91.17 per week.

Your new State Pension is more likely to be calculated in this way if you were born after the year 2000 or became a resident of the UK after 2015.

Annual increases

The new State Pension increases each year by whichever is the highest:

  • earnings – the average percentage growth in wages (in Great Britain)
  • prices – the percentage growth in prices in the UK as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI)
  • 2.5%

If you have a protected payment, it increases each year in line with the CPI.

Get a State Pension statement

You can get a State Pension statement that can tell you how much new State Pension you may get.

Further information

You can read ‘Your new State Pension explained’ for more detailed information about the changes to the State Pension scheme.