Claiming State Pension


When you reach State Pension Age, you do not automatically receive State Pension. You must claim it.

A letter is usually sent out 4 months before you reach State Pension Age inviting you to make a claim. However, it is important to note that it is not an obligation of the Pension Service to send out a letter, so letters may not necessarily be sent out.

If you do not receive this letter 3 months before reaching State Pension Age, contact the Pension Service on 0808 100 2658 to make your claim.

How to Claim

There are different ways to claim State Pension. You can:

• Make your claim over the phone by ringing 0808 100 2658

• Request a BR1 claim form, which you need to complete and return

Claim on-line with this information from NI Direct

If you're are claiming over the phone, it is useful to have your National Insurance number to hand.


State Pension is normally paid into a Bank, Building Society, or Post Office card account.

Payment can be made weekly, or at the end of every 4 or 13 weeks. However, customers who are paid less than £5 per week are paid every 52 weeks.

New pensions are usually paid out on a Monday. Even if a claim is made as soon as retirement age is reached, the claimant may not be paid that day as pensions are not paid out on every day of the week. The claimant will have to wait until the next pension pay-day.

Each year the amount of State Pension rises which is known as up-rating. For example, in 2021 - 2022 the old state pension was £137.60 per week compared to £141.85 per week in 2022 -2023.

Find out more about the new state pension which came into effect from April 2016.

Backdating Claims

A claim for State Pension can be back-dated for up to 12 months from the date you claim.

Once a claim is made, you will receive details of how much your pension should be. If you disagree with the decision, you can ask for the decision to be reconsidered or you can appeal.