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Why Can I Not Get My Retirement Pension?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 1 Aug 2013 | comments*Discuss
Pension State Pension Pension Age Men

Q.I am nearly 63 and out of work with no chance of getting a job as by trade I am a self employed builder. I want to know why I can't collect retirement pension, the same as a woman, as I am fully paid up for my pension?

(Mr Roy Hiscock, 30 December 2008)


The State pension age for men is currently 65 across the UK, which is likely the main reason that you are not able to receive your pension though you have contributed National Insurance contributions throughout your working life. Currently the working life of a man is set at 49 years for the purposes of a State pension, so if your working life has been shorter and your National Insurance contributions less then this might also affect your ability to draw a State pension.

To some people it may seem unfair that women reach State pension age before men, but this is changing. At the moment women are of pension age when they are 63 years old, but this age is increasing from 2010. The increase will be gradual but by 2020 the State pension age will be 65 for both men and women.

When you are almost of age to draw a State pension you will likely be sent an invitation to claim your pension approximately 4 months prior to your 65th birthday. Details will be included on the invitation, but claiming your State pension will be as easy as ringing The Pension Service and giving details such as your National Insurance number, tax reference number, your spouse or civil partner's National Insurance number and your marriage or civil partnership dates, and details of any benefits that you or your spouse/civil partner receives. Further information may also be required, which will be detailed on the invitation and/or described when you get in touch with The Pension Service.

If you would like further information State pensions and your personal situation then consider contacting The Pension Service now. You can visit online or phone them (from England, Scotland or Wales) on 0845 60 60 265. There is also a Welsh phone line, translators available and a variety of formats for those with sight or hearing difficulties who would like to know more about State pensions. If you are in Northern Ireland and would like more information about your pension then you will need to visit the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland at www.dsdni.gov.uk. A variety of leaflets and answers to common pension questions are available on this website, as is information on making a complaint.

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