How many years do you have to work to claim the full state pension under the DWP National Insurance Rules?


It may seem like a long road to many, but it’s never too early to start thinking about retirement.

Many employees qualify for work place pensions through their job. Monthly contributions are deducted from the salary, which are often adjusted or increased by the employer.

Those earning more than £10,000 a year are automatically enrolled in occupational pension schemes when they are between 22 and state pension age.

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Then, when that employee reaches a certain age, often around 60, they can choose to start drawing their pension. In general, the older you are when you retire, the more you get.

But not everyone is entitled to a company pension or has paid into one.

In addition to private workplace pensions, anyone who has paid Social Security for a number of years is entitled to a state pension from the government. Those who have a private pension can also take advantage of the state pension, which offers a practical supplement to retirement income. State pensions are also an important lifeline for those who do not have, or have not paid a large amount into, an occupational pension.

However, State Pension payments depend on Social Security contributions and balances, either through work, entitlement to benefits, or a mix of both.

Here we look at the rules for those who reach state pension age after April 2016, meaning they will qualify for the new state pension.

How long do you have to work to claim a new state pension?

To be eligible for a state pension, you must have been on your social security register for at least 10 years. To get the full amount you need 35 years. The years do not have to be consecutive, there may be gaps.

Social security payments or credits that were on records prior to April 6, 2016 are included in calculating the amount of individuals covered by the new state pension.

These are used to create a “starting amount”. This amount is either the amount they would receive under the old state pension rules or the amount they would receive if the new state pension rules applied at the beginning of their working lives, whichever is greater.

If their starting amount is less than the new state pension, they can top it up until they reach the full amount or state retirement age, whichever comes first. Currently, around £5.13 per week is added to the state pension payout each year.

The full new state pension is currently £179.60 per week, although this will change each year with inflation. So if you retire in 2050 you won’t be stuck paying £179.60 a week when that amount is worth less in 2050 than it is today.

For people who reached working age after April 2016, the pension will be fully calculated according to the new rules. You must have 10 years of Social Security credentials to get one, and 35 years for the full amount, although that could change in the years leading up to your retirement.

How to qualify for Social Security payments through work or benefits

To qualify for a state pension, you must have been on your National Insurance (NI) record for at least 10 years. To achieve this, you can work and pay NI contributions; Acquisition of NI credits through unemployment, illness, parent or guardian; or pay voluntary NI contributions.

In general, the longer you invest, the more you get, up to the maximum rate.

You can receive NI credits for applying for child support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Employment Support Allowance.

What is the statutory retirement age?

You must be 66 to claim the state pension, but that will rise to 67 for those born after April 1960 and 68 for those born after April 1977. It is expected to rise again as the DWP reviews the statutory retirement age. You can check yours here:

How do I find out how much I’m getting from my state pension?

You can check your state pension forecast here: You will need a Government Gateway or verification account to do this.


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