The Pensions Guide
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...Pensions Information...

  1. Do I qualify for the basic State Pension?
  2. What is State Pension deferral?
  3. What choices are there at State Pension age?
  4. Can I claim State Pension when living abroad?
  5. How is the State Pension paid if I live abroad?

1. Do I qualify for the basic State Pension? Page Top
You qualify by building up enough ‘qualifying years’ before State Pension age.
A qualifying year is a tax year in which you have sufficient earnings upon which you have paid, are treated as having paid or have been credited with, NICs.
The number of qualifying years you normally need for a full basic State Pension is equal to about 90 per cent of your working life:
calculated from the start of the tax year in which you reach 16 to the end of the tax year before the one in which you reach State Pension age.
2. What is State Pension deferral? Page Top
State Pension deferral means you can put off claiming your State Pension when you reach State Pension age.
You can also choose to stop claiming it after having claimed it for a period.
Since the State Pension was introduced, people have been able to earn extra State Pension in this way.
3. What choices are there at State Pension age? Page Top
When you reach State Pension age, you can still work if you want to. You can:-
- stop working and get your State Pension
- carry on working and get your State Pension as well
- carry on working and put off claiming your State Pension
If you put off claiming your State Pension, you may get extra weekly State Pension when you do claim it.
If you go on working after State Pension age, you don't have to carry on paying National Insurance contributions.
4. Can I claim State Pension when living abroad? Page Top
You can claim your State Pension if you live outside the UK.
However, you’ll only receive the yearly index-linked increases and other benefits (for example, the Christmas Bonus) if you live in the European Economic Area (EEA).
If you live outside those areas, you won’t be entitled to the yearly index-linked increases. However, if you return to live in the UK, you’ll receive a State Pension with all of the indexation increases.
5. How is the State Pension paid if I live abroad? Page Top
Your State Pension can be paid into a UK bank account, or into an account in the country in which you live.
If you decide to have your State Pension paid into your bank abroad, it’ll be paid in the local currency, converted at the exchange rate on the day it’s paid.
You can also receive your State Pension as a sterling cheque, which you can choose to receive either every four or every 13 weeks.
If you divide your time between the UK and abroad you’ll have to choose which country you want your State Pension paid into.

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