State benefits

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You could be entitled to more than your company pension

When you’re planning for the future, remember that you may be entitled to some pension benefits from the Government (in addition to any benefits from the Royal Mail Statutory Pension Scheme). There’s the State Pension – and there are other benefits for pensioners, such as free prescriptions and bus passes.

When you reach your State Pension age, you may be entitled to some pension benefits from the Government.

What’s the State Pension?

It’s an amount of money and usually it will be paid every four weeks. The amount you get depends on different things, like when you were born and whether you’re a man or a woman. To be eligible, you need to have made a certain amount of National Insurance contributions over the years.

There are two types of State Pension:

  • For people whose State Pension age is on or after 6 April 2016, there’s the new State Pension
  • For people who reached State Pension age before this date, there’s the Basic State Pension and possibly an Additional State Pension too.

If you’re eligible, you should get an invitation to claim within four months of your State Pension age. If you’re eligible but your invitation doesn’t arrive, call the Pensions Service on 0800 731 7898 or visit their website to claim online.

The State Pension rules do change from time to time – so, check the Government’s website to see what you can expect to receive.

Your State Pension age depends on whether you’re a man or a woman, and when you were born. The Government is gradually making the State Pension age for men and women the same. They’re also gradually increasing the State Pension age for everyone over many years. You can check your State Pension age using the Government’s calculator.

Other benefits for pensioners

Pensioners are entitled to all kinds of benefits, from Council Tax Support to free prescriptions and eye tests. The consumer organisation ‘Which?’ offers a helpful list of pensioner benefits that could apply to you.