How do I qualify for State Pension (Contributory)?


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You do not need to be retired from work to qualify for State Pension (Contributory).

To qualify for a standard rate State Pension (Contributory), each of the following three statements must apply to you.

You must have:

  1. started paying social insurance before age 56 at the full rate or at the modified rate,
  2. paid either:
    •   260 full rate contributions if you reach age 66 before 5 April 2012, or
    •   520 full rate contributions if you reach age 66 on or after 6 April 2012. Check with your local Social Welfare Office what Voluntary Contributions you may use to make up the 520.
    and
  3. You must have either:
    •   a 'yearly average' of at least 10 paid or credited reckonable( see note) contributions since you first started paying social insurance, or
    •   a 'yearly average' of at least 48 paid or credited reckonable( see note) contributions from 6 April 1979 to the end of the tax year before you reach pension age, known as the 'alternative yearly average'.

Note : Reckonable contributions are full-rate paid or credited contributions, self-employment contributions and high or special rate Voluntary Contributions.

Last modified:18/01/2010
 

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