The UK State Pension is a regular payment made by the government to people of retirement age who’ve made enough National Insurance contributions during their working lives.
If you’re married, you might be wondering how much you and your spouse can get. Here is everything you need to know.
Who can claim the UK State Pension?
There are two types of State Pension: the basic State Pension and the new State Pension.
Men born before 6 April 1951 and women born before 6 April 1953 can claim the basic State Pension.
The new State Pension is available to men born on or after 6 April 1951 and women born on or after 6 April 1953.
To get either type of pension, you need to have built up at least 10 years’ full National Insurance contributions. The years do not have to be consecutive.
Is there a special pension for couples?
No. There’s nothing like a special State Pension for couples.
According to current UK State Pension rules, each partner in a marriage or a civil partnership must build up their own State Pension through qualifying years and can’t benefit from their spouse’s State Pension.
However, if you are a woman who paid the reduced rate ‘married woman’s contributions’, you might be able to claim a higher State Pension based on your spouse’s NI contributions (see below).
How much is the State Pension for married couples?
The rules governing how much you can receive as State Pension can be complicated at times. But here’s the gist.
Basic State Pension
As a single person in the upcoming 2021/2022 tax year, you will get £137.60 a week in basic State Pension. That is if you have built up the full 30 qualifying years.
If you are married or in a civil partnership, and you and your partner have built up the full number of qualifying years, you’ll get double this amount, so £275.20 between you.
At the same time, if you are a married woman, but don’t have the full number of qualifying years, and your spouse retired before April 2016, you may be entitled to the married woman’s rate we mentioned before.
This rate is 60% of the basic State Pension your spouse gets. So, if he gets the full basic State Pension, you would receive £82.45 (60% of £137.60).
If your Basic State Pension is less than 60% of your spouse’s, you may be entitled to a top-up. You should therefore contact the Pension Service.
New State Pension
The full rate for the new State Pension for the 2021/2022 tax year is £179.60.
If both you and your partner have built up the full 35 qualifying years, then you’ll get double this amount as a married couple. This comes to £359.20 between you.
But if both or one of you don’t have the full number of qualifying years, it will be less.
If you are approaching State Pension age, the best way to determine how much you are entitled to, whether you are single or part of a couple, is to get a State Pension forecast, which is available online on the Pension Service website.
Planning for your retirement
The UK State Pension can be a valuable source of income during your retirement. However, the reality is that it may not be enough to support the lifestyle you want.
That is why it might be a good idea to look for additional ways to save for your retirement. Contributing to a workplace pension, or even a private pension, is one example.
Another potentially great way to build your retirement wealth is through the stock market. Over the long term, the stock market has a strong track record of helping investors build wealth.
And if you invest through a tax-efficient vehicle such as a stocks and shares ISA, all of your returns will be tax-free, which could mean more money for retirement.
However, keep in mind that:
- Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns
- Tax treatment depends on the specific circumstances of the individual and may be subject to change in the future
If you do decide to invest in stocks, make sure you do your research before you part with your money.
A great place to start is right here on The Motley Fool or our sister site the Motley Fool. Both are full of tips and guidance to assist you in your retirement planning and investment journey.