Additional state pension: What is it and could you receive over £700 extra a month?

Additional State Pension is an extra amount of money that could be received on top of basic state pension. However, it’s only available of men born before 6 April 1951 or women born before 6 April 1953. So long as the person qualifies for it they will received the additional state pension automatically, with it being paid with the basic state pension. The rules around date of birth are strict but it is possible to inherit additional state pension from a partner, even if the person inheriting it does not qualify for it themselves.


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So long as a person reached state pension age before 6 April 2016 and they started claiming the basic state pension, they will automatically get any additional state pension they’re eligible for.

This is the case so long as the person did not contract out. This could only be done if an employer ran a contracted-out pension scheme, so in order to check on this employers may need to be contacted.

It may also be possible for individuals to check themselves by calling pension providers directly or checking old payslips.

If it is proving difficult to track this information down, the government has a pinion tracing service which provides the latest contact details for pension providers.

The amount that can be received from additional state pension, just like other state pension schemes, is dependant on the individual.

There is no fixed amount that can be received. The amount received will depend on a number of factors.

It will depend on the persons earnings, how many years of National Insurance they’ve paid, if basic state pension was topped up between 12 October 2015 and 5 April 2017 and if they contracted out.

If someone wants to check on all of this and see how much they could need up receiving, they can request a state pension statement directly from the government.

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For those that do qualify for additional state pension it is worth noting that it is made up of three schemes. It is possible that all three of the schemes could have been paid into depending on how long a person worked and if they choose to top up their state pension.

The schemes are split by timings. From 2002 to 2016 the schemes was the “state second pension” and this would have been contributed to if the person was employed or claiming certain benefits at the time.

From 1978 to 2002 the scheme was the “state earnings-related pension scheme (SERPS), this could only be contributed to if the person was employed at the time. From 12 October 2015 to 5 April 2017 the scheme was the “state pension top up”.

This one could only be contributed to by people who reaches state pension age before 6 April 2016 and opted into the scheme.


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So long as a person qualifies, they will not need to do anything to receive the additional state pension. It will start being paid once the state pension is claimed, once this is done the Pension Service will write to the individual and tell them exactly how much they’ll be getting.

As is evident, there are a lot of stringent rules on who can receive this extra income and it will likely not be available to many.

However, in certain circumstances it may be possible to inherit part of a spouses or civil partners additional state pension. How this is inherited will depend on the type of scheme the partner was receiving it under.

If someone was receiving state pension under the “state second pension” scheme then their partner can inherit up to 50 percent of what they were receiving. The “SERPS” and “state pension top up” schemes have more elements to their inheritance rules. If the person died before 6 October 2002 it is possible to inherit all of their SERPS pension. For anyone who died after this date, the amount that can be inherited is dependent on date of birth and gender. The maximum amount inherited decreases on a tapered scale:

Man’s date of birth                                 Woman’s date of birth                          Maximum that can be inherited
5 October 1937 or before                        5 October 1942 or before                     100 percent
6 October 1937 to 5 October 1939           6 October 1942 to 5 October 1944        90 percent
6 October 1939 to 5 October 1941           6 October 1944 to 5 October 1946        80 percent
6 October 1941 to 5 October 1943           6 October 1946 to 5 October 1948        70 percent
6 October 1943 to 5 October 1945           6 October 1948 to 5 July 1950              60 percent
6 October 1945 and after                        6 July 1950 and after                           50 percent

The amount paid out will vary drastically due to all of these rules on dates and circumstances. However the government does give a clear figure for a maximum amount that will be paid out. The maximum amount of Additional State Pension a person could get is £176.41 per week. This equates to just over £700 a month.

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