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Posted on: 05 May, 16

What the rule changes mean to you

The State Pension changed on 6 April 2016. If you reached State Pension age on or after that date, you’ll now receive the new State Pension under the new rules. The aim of the new State Pension is to make it simpler to understand, but there are some complicated changeover arrangements which you need to know about if you’ve already made contributions under the previous system.

For many retired people, the State Pension forms the core of their income, together with any workplace or personal pension provision that you have. The new State Pension is a regular payment from the Government that you can claim if you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016. You will receive the new State Pension if you’re eligible and a man born on or after 6 April 1951, or a woman born on or after 6 April 1953.

If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you’ll receive the State Pension under the old rules. You can still get a State Pension if you have other income such as a personal pension or a workplace pension.

The basic and additional State Pensions have been replaced by a flat-rate, single-tier new State Pension with a full level of £155.65 per week, and depending on your personal circumstances this may be subject to tax. Your National Insurance record is used to calculate your new State Pension, and you’ll usually need ten qualifying years to get any new State Pension.

For ten years, at least one or more of the following must have applied to you:

  • You were working and paid National Insurance contributions
  • You were receiving National Insurance credits, for example, due to unemployment, sickness or as a parent or carer
  • You were paying voluntary National Insurance contributions

If you’ve lived or worked abroad, you may still be able to get some new State Pension. You may also qualify if you’ve paid married women’s or widow’s reduced rate contributions, but you’ll need 35 qualifying years to get the full new State Pension.


The amount you receive can be higher or lower depending on your National Insurance record, and it will only be higher if you have over a certain amount of Additional State Pension. You don’t have to stop working when you reach State Pension age, but you’ll no longer have to pay National Insurance, and you can also request flexible working arrangements.

Deferring the new State Pension means that you may receive extra State Pension when you

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