Social Security

Pension Rights

The basic State Pension is a government-administered pension. It is based on the number of qualifying years gained through National Insurance contributions (NICs) paid or credited throughout the applicant’s working life. State retirement pension can be claimed once a person reaches the State pensionable age. This is 65 for men born on or before 5 April 1959 and 60 for women born on or before 5 April 1950. The State Pension age for women born on or after 6 April 1950 but before 6 April 1955 is rising from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2020. The State Pension age for women born on or after 6 April 1955 but before 6 April 1959 is 65. State Pension age will increase for both men and women from age 65 to 68 between 2024 and 2046.

Old age pension can be paid as full, partial (with at least one year of contributions) and deferred pension. In order to be eligible for full basic state pension, a worker must have 30 years’ worth of contributions or credit. For men born before 1945 and women born before 1950, the qualifying years to get a full state pension are 44 and 39 years respectively.

The state pension entitlement rules changed radically on 6 April, 2016, for men born on or after 6 April 1951 and women born on or after 6 April 1953. The government introduced a ‘single-tier’ state pension with a ‘full level’ of £155.65 a week (£8,092 a year. ). Persons who reached state pension age before 6 April, the changes don’t affect them; in this case, the basic state pension is £119.30 a week (£6,204 a year) in 2016/17. Persons reaching state pension age on or after 6 April 2016, the starting point for calculating what they receive is the ‘full level’ of the new state pension, i.e., £155.65. A person may also qualify for the additional state pension, also known as State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) or state second pension (S2P).

Dependents' / Survivors' Benefit

Death benefits are available to men and women whose spouse died after 9th April 2001 or whosesame-sex registered civil partner died on or after 5th December 2005. There are three different death benefits:

1)Bereavement Payment which is a single lump-sum amount of £2000 paid to widows, widowers and surviving

Civil partners under State Pension age or over State Pension age if the late spouse or civil partner was not entitled to a State Pension based on his or her own contribution record.

2)Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA) is a regular payment for men and women who have a qualifying child, generally a child for whom there is Child Benefit entitlement. The entitlement continues until the youngest child in the family is aged 16 or up to age 19 if in full time education.

3)The Bereavement Allowance is granted at the full rate to widowed people aged 55 or over. Between the ages of 45 and 54, a percentage of the full rate is paid.

Invalidity Benefit

Employment and Support Allowance has replaced the Incapacity Benefit and Income Support that is paid because of an illness or disability for new claimants from 27 October 2008. Employment and Support Allowance consists of two phases 1) the assessment phase rate is paid for the first 13 weeks of a claim while a decision is made on capability for work through the Work Capability Assessment (£56.80 for persons under 25 years and £71.70 for persons 25 years and over) 2) the main phase starts from week 14 of the claim, if the Work Capability Assessment shows that the illness or disability does limit ability to work. There are two groups within the main phase 1) Work Related Activity Group (paid at the weekly rate of £100.15) in which the worker is expected to take part in work focused interviews with a personal adviser. The workers get support to help prepare for suitable work. 2) Support Group (paid at the weekly rate of £106.50) in case when illness or disability has a severe effect on worker's ability to work. The contribution based benefit lasts one year for workers in work related activity group and a benefit cap also applies.

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