Additional State Pension


An Additional State Pension may be paid by the Government on top of your old Basic State Pension if you reached retirement age before 6th April 2016.

Known as State Second Pension (S2P), this is the earnings-related benefit element of the State Retirement Pension. Therefore, only Category A and B pensions may include an Additional State Pension.

From 1978 to April 2002 contributions were built up via the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS).

In April 2002 the State Second Pension (S2P) replaced SERPS, which is a simplified and more generous version of SERPS.

Therefore, people may have received some of their Additional Pension under SERPS and some under S2P.

Who could contribute to and then claim S2P?

If you were employed and had annual earnings above the level needed to qualify for the old Basic State Pension, you would have been contributing to the Additional State Pension before 6th April 2016 unless you were:

  • Contracted out by your employer
  • A member of an appropriate personal or stakeholder pension scheme

From 2002, if you did not have earnings, you may have be credited with earnings for S2P purposes. Therefore, you could still build up S2P if you were:

  • Looking after children under 12 years old and claiming child benefit
  • Caring for a sick or disabled person for more than 20 hours a week and claiming Carer's Credit
  • A registered foster carer who claims Carer's Credit
  • Receiving certain other benefits due to illness or disability

Widows, widowers or surviving civil partners may be able to inherit all or part of their late partner's SERPS and 50% of their S2P. Indeed, it is possible to apply to a court for a share of any Additional State Pension during divorce proceedings.(If you reached retirement age before 6th April 2016)

Who could not contribute to and then claim S2P?

You could not build up S2P based on earnings if you were:

  • Self-employed
  • A married woman who was paying the reduced liability rate of National Insurance
  • Earning less than the Lower Earnings Limit 

Further Information

NI Direct helps you understand Additional State Pension.