State Pension: There may be a separate option for people aged 80 or over

Currently, people are eligible for basic State Pension if they were born before 6 April 1951 if they’re a man, or 6 April 1953 for women. Anyone born on or after those dates must claim the new State Pension. To receive any state pension, at least 10 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions will be needed. To receive the highest amount of state pension income, at least 30 years of NI contributions will be needed. The full new State Pension rate is £168.60 per week. The actual amount retirees will receive could vary by person.


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It is important to note that State Pension will not be paid automatically, it will need to be claimed.

About two months before a person reaches state pension age, they will receive a letter from the government telling them what to do.

Even if a person does not receive this letter, they can still make a claim so long as they’re eligible.

Or, if they don’t want to retire or receive more income from their state pension, a person can defer receiving it entirely.

There are four options for claiming a state pension. It can be done online through the government’s website.

To get started with this method, the claimant will need the date of their most recent marriage, civil partnership or divorce, the dates of any time spent living or working abroad and their personal or joint bank or building society details.

The government detail that this method will be the quickest and easiest to use, its design utilises easy to navigate tick boxes.

The Pension Service can also be contacted over the phone. Here they can provide information on all manner of things such as eligibility, payments and complaints.

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A physical form can also be completed and sent to a local pension centre, the form itself can be downloaded online. For anyone who retires abroad and wishes to claim UK state pension, they much contact the International Pension Centre or fill in an international version of the physical claim form.

All these details are aimed towards the regular state pensions that most people will be familiar with. However, there is another state pension called the “Over 80 pension”.

This is a state pension exclusively for those aged 80 or over. The eligibility for this state pension is different from the regular one. It cannot be claimed by anyone who reached state pension age on or after April 2016.

Despite this, anyone who hits the age requirement can apply for the pension if all of the following apply:


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  • The person does not get basic State Pension, or their basic State Pension is less than £77.45 a week in 2019 to 2020
  • The person was a resident in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 10 years out of 20 (this does not have to be 10 years in a row) – this 20 year period must include the day before they turned 80 or any day after
  • They were ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland on their 80th birthday or the date they made the claim for this pension, if later

A key difference between the over 80 pension and regular state pension is that eligibility is not based on NI contributions. What the claimant will receive will be based on how much basic state pension they get (if anything).

If basic state pension is not received, or the person gets less than £77.45 a week, then the difference could be paid up to this amount. For example, If a claimant is 80 years old and they receive £45 a week in state pension, their state pension may be topped up by £32.45 to £77.45 courtesy of the over 80 pension.

The methods for claiming the over 80 pension are also a bit different to the usual. A specific form will need to be completed and this form can be received from a local pension centre, or a local Jobcentre Plus.

The earliest that it can be claimed is three months before an 80th birthday. It should be noted that the over 80 pension will count as taxable income, which could have a knock on effect for other benefits that may be received.

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