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This briefing paper answers FAQs constituents raise with their MPs about State Pensions. It provides some general information in relation to these FAQs and signposts to more detailed sources of information and advice. It covers issues including:

  • Types of State Pension: What was the old basic State Pension? What was the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS)? What is the new State Pension?
  • Delivery: What day is the State Pension paid on?
  • Eligibility: Who is entitled to the new State Pension? Can people still claim on the spouse/civil partner’s National Insurance record? At what age can people claim their State Pension? Is there an option to draw the State Pension early?
  • Fairness: Have women born in the 1950s been unfairly treated? Is the new State Pension more generous than the old one? Are people who were members of contracted-out occupational schemes treated unfairly?
  • Benefits (Pension Credit): Who is entitled to Pension Credit? What if a Pension Credit claimant goes abroad? How does it take account of capital?

Please note that nothing in this paper should be considered as constituting legal advice. It is not intended to address the specific circumstances of a particular individual. A suitably qualified professional should be consulted if specific advice or information is required.

Information about how to complain about any aspect of the service provided by DWP or the Pension Service is on the Library constituency casework page: Social security complaints.  The procedure for seeking to get a benefits decision changed if a person thinks it is wrong, is quite separate – see Challenging benefits decisions.

Other sources of information, guidance and help with individual cases include:

  • The Pension Service, which can answer questions about State Pension eligibility, claims, payments and receives complaints about issues such as unreasonable delays. A person can also report a change of circumstances to the Service, for example if they have changed address.
  • Age UK, which gives useful information on its website such as how to challenge a benefit decision, and the charity itself can speak with individuals about their case.
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau, which can provide advice about different aspects of the State Pension and Pension Credit.

Documents to download

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