Who Do I Call To Discuss My Pension?

What is a State pension?

Different types of pension are available, depending on your circumstances. But when we talk about a state pension, we mean a regular payment that most people are eligible to receive from the Government in later life. The state pension system is run by the Pension Service, which is based in London.

Who is the Pension Service?

In the UK, the Pension Service takes charge of the state pension system, including pension credit, and they pay state pensions and pension credit. It’s part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). If you have any questions about your state pension, you should get in touch with the Pension Service.

pensions

Who is the DWP?

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. This is the biggest UK government department, and they take charge of administering the state pension and range of working age, disability and ill health benefits to approximately 20 million claimants and customers.

What about the new State pension?

To receive the new state pension (introduced in 2016), you need to be of state pension and have a minimum of 10 years of National Insurance (NI) contributions. The amount you receive is based on your NI record.

You also need to be:

  • a man born on or after 6 April 1951
  • a woman born on or after 6 April 1953
  • If you were born prior to the dates listed here, you’ll get the old state pension. Let’s take a look at the key differences between the old and new state pension system.

Old state pension

How is it made up?:

  • Two parts: Basic state pension and Additional state pension

What’s the maximum weekly payout?:

  • £125.95 basic (+ avg. £40 additional)

How many NI years do I need to get the full rate?:

  • 30

How many NI years do I need to qualify for the minimum payment?

  • Any

New state pension

How is it made up?:

  • One flat-rate payment, plus any ‘protected payments’

What’s the maximum weekly payout?:

  • £164.35 plus any ‘protected payments’

How many NI years do I need to get the full rate?:

  • 35

How many NI years do I need to qualify for the minimum payment?

  • 10

What do you mean by protected payments?

Under the old system, if you were employed you’d have paid Class 1 NI. This entitled you to the basic state pension plus an additional state pension. The latter was based on your earnings and any National Insurance contributions you’d made.

If you happen to have built up a significant additional state pension entitlement over the years, you may have already earned a pension under the old system that’s worth more than £164.35 per week.

If this is the case for you – and you’re eligible for the new state pension – you’ll receive the full new state pension amount and you’ll also keep any amount over and above this. This is known as a ‘protected payment’ and it will increase with inflation.

How do I claim my State pension for the first time?

You’ll receive a letter in the post before you reach state pension. This should be two months before you reach state pension age (at the latest).

When you get the letter, you can go online to put in a claim for your state pension, or you can call the claim line directly.

Call 0843 9020742. Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm (except public holidays).

I’m already getting my state pension – or I’ve delayed (deferred) claiming it. Who do I contact?

If you want to discuss your state pension, contact the Pension Service directly. You can ask them your questions, inform them of any important changes – such as your address or bank account details.

Call 0843 9020742. Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.

What is their complaints procedure?

If you’d like to make a complaint, you can contact the Department for Work and Pensions by phone, in person or in writing. If you have any recent letters, it’s best to use the contact details listed there.

You’ll need to tell them:

  • Your NI number
  • Your full name, address and contact numbers
  • The benefit you’re complaining about
  • Exactly what happened and how it’s affected you
  • How they can make things right.

Find out about the complaints procedure here.