Eligibility

You’re eligible for the basic State Pension if you were born before:

  • 6 April 1951 if you’re a man
  • 6 April 1953 if you’re a woman

If you were born on or after these dates you must claim the new State Pension.

The earliest you can get the basic State Pension is when you reach State Pension age.

Your National Insurance record

You usually need a total of 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits to get the full basic State Pension.

This means that for 30 years, one or more of the following applied to you:

If you have fewer than 30 qualifying years, your basic State Pension will be less than £141.85 per week. You might be able to top up by paying voluntary National Insurance contributions.

If you’re married or in a civil partnership

You might be able to increase or inherit State Pension if you have a spouse or civil partner.

You might be able to increase your State pension if either:

  • you’re not eligible for the basic State Pension
  • your basic State Pension is less than £85 per week

You might be able to inherit State Pension from your spouse or civil partner if either:

  • you’re not eligible for the basic State Pension
  • your basic State Pension is less than £141.85 per week

If you’re a man born before 1945 or a woman born before 1950

You need:

  • more than 30 qualifying years to get the full basic State Pension
  • a minimum number of years to get any State Pension

The minimum number of years is usually 11 years for men born before 1945, and 10 years for women born before 1950.

To get information about your basic State Pension eligibility, contact the Pension Service or the International Pension Centre if you live abroad.

If you’re transgender

Your State Pension might be affected if you’re a transgender person and you:

  • were born between 24 December 1919 and 3 April 1945
  • have claimed State Pension before 4 April 2005
  • can provide evidence that your gender reassignment surgery took place before 4 April 2005

Find out more and contact the Gender Recognition team.

You do not need to do anything if you legally changed your gender and started claiming State Pension on or after 4 April 2005 - you’ll already be claiming based on your legal gender.

If you do not qualify for a State Pension

If you’re not covered by any of these groups but want a State Pension you might be able to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions.