State Pension changes from 6 April 2016
From 6 April 2016 the government is changing the way in which State Pensions are calculated. If you reached State Pension age prior to 6 April 2016 you will not be affected by the changes. The changes will apply to:
- men born on or after 6 April 1951
- women born on or after 6 April 1953
For people reaching State Pension age prior to 6 April 2016, the State Pension is made up of two elements - the Basic State Pension and the Additional State Pension (known as the State Second Pension). The government is making changes to simplify this and introduce a single-tier structure.
In addition, as part of the government's changes to State Pensions, from 6 April 2016 it will no longer be possible for defined benefit pension schemes, such as the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS), to contract out of the Additional State Pension. This means that Section A of the BTPS has ceased to be contracted-out from 6 April 2016. Sections B and C of the BTPS have ceased to be contracted-out since 6 April 2009.
Much like the two-tier State Pension that applied prior to 6 April 2016, the amount of single-tier pension people will receive will depend on the level of National Insurance contributions they have made. You can requst a statement from the government which will confirm your National Insurance record. To request a statement please see www.gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record.
Until 5 April 2017, anyone over State Pension age by April 2016 will be able to apply to make a "Class 3A voluntary contribution" to top up their State Pension. You can find out more at www.gov.uk/state-pension-topup.
If you are 50 or over you can request a personalised new State Pension statement at www.gov.uk/check-state-pension
To help you understand how these changes will affect you the government has published a series of factsheets, tools and videos that can be found at www.gov.uk/yourstatepension
We recommend you make sure you're aware of what the changes mean for you and your retirement.