Qualifying for the Old State Pension


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Your entitlement to the Old State Pension depended on your:

For  claims, since the 6th April 2010- 6th April 2016, you only needed to meet one of the qualifying conditions. You must have been paid or been credited with Class 1, 2 or 3 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for at least 30 years of your working life to receive a full Old State Pension.

To receive the minimum Old State Pension, you must have paid or been credited with at least one year's contributions. If you do not have the full 30 years' contributions, State Pension is paid pro rata. For example, if you paid one year of contributions, you will receive a thirtieth (1/30) of the full old State Pension.

State Pension before April 6th 2010

Prior to April 6th 2010, you had to have met the two contribution conditions outlined below to gain a Basic State Pension. If you paid or were credited with National Insurance contributions prior to the commencement of the new contribution condition, you will be protected. The payments or credits will be transferred to the current system.

For claims made before 6th April 2010, the two contribution conditions were:

  1. You must have paid, in any one tax year, Class 1, 2 or 3 NICs with an earnings factor of 52 times that year’s lower earnings limit which, in 2019 - 2020, is £118 per week or £6,136 per annum
  2. You must have paid, been treated as having paid or been credited with enough contributions to make at least 25% of the years in your working life contribute as qualifying years

All the information contained on this page is for individuals who reached State Pension Age before 6th April 2016.