Basic State Pension
The Basic State Pension (BSP) is a pension benefit paid to all eligible employees and the self-employed if they reached their State Pension Age (SPA) before 6 April 2016. It was not paid automatically; it needed to be claimed. It is not means tested.
Anyone, including the self-employed, who had enough 'qualifying years' and had reached their State Pension Age (SPA) before 6 April 2016 could claim BSP - unlike the State Second Pension, which was available only to the employed.
If you'd paid or had credited enough National Insurance (NI) contributions in the tax year, it would have counted as a qualifying year.
It was possible to pay voluntary contributions for any years in which you hadn't paid NI contributions or not enough for it to count as a qualifying year.
From 6 April 2010, the number of required qualifying years for a full BSP was 30 for men and women. If you had less than 30 qualifying years your BSP was reduced proportionately with no minimum number of qualifying years required.
It was possible to defer taking BSP on reaching SPA in exchange for a higher starting level or a taxable lump sum payment.
The current and previous rates of BSP can be found on our rates and factors page.
Yes, for those claiming the pension in the UK the rate of BSP increases from April each year by at least the level of growth in average earnings. A triple guarantee applies so that the Basic State Pension increases each year by the highest of:
For those who are not in the UK it depends on the country of residence whether there is an increase. GOV.UK: State Pension if you retire abroad.
The information provided is based on our current understanding of the relevant legislation and regulations and may be subject to alteration as a result of changes in legislation or practice. Also it may not reflect the options available under a specific product which may not be as wide as legislations and regulations allow.
All references to taxation are based on our understanding of current taxation law and practice and may be affected by future changes in legislation and the individual circumstances of the investor.