The state pension age is the earliest possible age that a state pension can be drawn. The age of which it is provided is dictated by the central government, the recent change in government has meant significant changes to the state pension and how it is organized.

For men at present the state pension age is 65 and for the women the current state pension age has increased from 60 to 65. The changes to the womans pension age was changed in 2010 and it affects women that were born on or after 6th April 1950.

The current government are planning on increasing the state pension to 66. This will come in to action in 2018 for both men and women.

These changes are only relevant for the state pension and not for people who are claiming a private pension.

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.