You could increase your state pension without doing anything at all – are you eligible?

Expert on how to get the most from your state pension

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Britons may be able to increase their state pension by deferring it. This means not claiming the state pension immediately once someone is eligible for it.

The state pension is not paid out automatically when someone reaches state pension age, they have to actually claim it.

Those nearing state pension age should get a letter explaining their options, and then they must decide whether to claim their state pension or defer it.

To defer, they just need to do absolutely nothing. Deferring the state pension could allow people to increase their sum when they do start claiming and get more state pension in the long run.

How much someone could benefit from deferring their state pension depends on which version of the state pension they get and how long they defer for.

Those who will reach or have reached state pension age on or after April 6, 2016 would see their sum increase for every week they defer, as long as they defer for at least nine weeks.

Their sum would increase by one percent for every nine weeks they defer.

Pensioners who reached state pension before April 6, 2016 would see their sum rise by one percent for every five weeks they defer, as long as they defer for at least five weeks.

People who reached state pension age before April 6, 2016 will also have the option to receive their additional state pension as an increased weekly amount or as a lump sum.

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However, Britons should be aware that even if they receive an increased state pension by deferring, they may still end up worse off, as it will take time for them to make up for the state pension they could have received if they had claimed immediately.

Some people may not be allowed to receive extra state pension because of certain benefits they receive. In this case, deferral would not benefit them.

Britons cannot build up extra state pension during any period in which they get:

  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based)
  • Universal Credit
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Widow’s Pension
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Unemployability Supplement.

Someone also cannot build up extra state pension during any period in which their partner gets:

  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-related).

Those receiving benefits should also note that receiving a higher weekly state pension amount as a result of deferral could lower the amount they receive from benefits such as:

  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-related)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Tax credits.

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