Age for claiming state pension rises to 66 in the UK today

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The age you need to be in order to claim your state pension in the UK officially rises to 66 as of today.

It has been confirmed by the UK government and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that men and women born between 6th October 1954 and 5th April 1960 will now start receiving their pension on their 66th birthday, with the age set to rise again over the coming years.

For those born after that, there will be a phased increase in state pension age to 67, and eventually 68.

The full state pension for new recipients is now worth £175.20 a week.

To receive the full amount, various criteria – including 10 qualifying years of national insurance – must be satisfied, however they do not have to be 10 qualifying years in a row.

This means that for 10 years, at least one or more of the following applied to you:

  • You were working and paid National Insurance contributions.
  • You were getting National Insurance credits – eg: If you were unemployed, ill or a parent or carer.
  • You were paying voluntary National Insurance contributions.

This change in claimant age follows a string of rises over the past 10 years.

However, the increases have been controversial – particularly for women who have seen the most significant rise – and today’s change means that in some cases, women are waiting as much as six years longer to claim their state pension as they had originally thought.

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Younger workers are also being urged to plan ahead as the claimant age is likely to continue rising.

Pete Glancy – Head of Policy at Scottish Widows – said: “As people live longer, it’s clear many will also have to work for longer. The increase to the state pension age provides a timely reminder to everyone to check your pension pots and ask yourself whether the savings you’ve built up are enough for the kind of life you want in retirement.”

Tom Selby – Senior Analyst at AJ Bell – added: “As average life expectancy continues to increase, the state pension age will inevitably follow suit [and] this means younger savers probably need to plan assuming they might not reach their state pension age until 70 or even beyond.

“Anyone who aspires to more than the bare minimum in retirement needs to take responsibility as early as possible to build their own retirement pot.”

You can find out more about your state pension age via the gov.uk website here.

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