People are eligible for their state pension when they reach the state pension age, it does not have to be claimed straight away and the amount can be increased if it is claimed at a later date. Recent Government announcements have meant that there will be changes in when people will be eligible for their state pension. From December 2018 the state pension age for both men and women will increase to 66, this will be fully rolled out by April 2020. There are also currently consideration towards raising the state pension age to 69, although this not been decided and would have to be accepted by Parliament first.

The state pension can be claimed by contacting the local authority within your area. The amount of state pension which each person receives depends how many qualifying years of National Insurance have been built up for the specific person. National Insurance builds up by paying contributions from a wage or the National Insurance may be credited to some people by the Government.

If you have been in a position where paying National Insurance was not possible, such as being ill or unemployed, in the majority of cases the government will make the contributions for you by providing credits. Credits area also awarded to people who receive Child Benefit or caring for someone who is sick or disabled.

In order to claim a state pension the person wishing to claim will need to provide numerous different documents. The National Insurance number of the claimant will need to be provided, along with proof of the current address and postcode plus proof of the last two address at which the claimant has lived. The tax reference number of the person will also need to be provided, this can be found on a P45 or P60 or any letter concerning tax from HM Revenue and Customs. If the claimant is married or in a civil partnership or have been previously, the details of the partner will required, this includes the National Insurance number and also the date of marriage or civil partnership. People who are divorced, widowed or when a civil partnership has dissolved, will be required to provide relevant details of the event. Details of any social security benefits or entitlement that the claimant or husband, wife or civil partner are receiving or waiting to hear about must also be stated. Any employment which has been happening in the previous two years must be stated along with the contact details for the employer.

Anybody who is claiming and has lived outside or work outside of the UK will need to provide social security numbers and also the relevant dates. The policy for state pensions is for them to be paid directly into a bank account.