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9 Welfare benefits
9. If you have retired or are about to retire
You may receive the State Retirement Pension when you reach pensionable age (for now, 65 for men and 60 for women). You do not have to retire to get retirement pension - you may receive it whether or not you are still working.
The amount you receive will depend on how much National Insurance you or your husband or wife or civil partner have paid or been credited with during your working lives. However, once you turn 80, you may get some retirement pension whether or not you have paid National Insurance.
When you reach pensionable age, you can choose to defer (put off) receiving your State Retirement Pension. Depending on how long you defer, when you eventually claim it, you can get either:
You may be able to receive another benefit, called Pension Credit if you are 60 or over. This depends on your circumstances but you can get it whether or not you are still working. It is made up of two parts:
You may get either or both parts but you can get the Savings Credit only if you or your partner is 65 or over. The Guarantee Credit tops up your income to a guaranteed level for your circumstances. You may get some Savings Credit if you have savings or other income on top of your basic pension. Savings credit can be paid on its own, or as well as guarantee credit. If you are 60 or over, you will also receive free prescriptions and you should receive a Winter Fuel Payment each year, depending on your circumstances.
This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Rachel Hadwen, a specialist in welfare rights.
Leaflet Version: April 2019
CLS Legal Info Leaflets
(Legal Information Leaflets)