Pension planning for business owners

The State Pension


The State Pension is a regular payment from the government most people can claim when they reach State Pension Age. 

Not everyone gets the same amount - this depends on your National Insurance record.

What is a qualifying year?

A qualifying year is based on the National Insurance contributions you have paid, have been treated as having paid or have been credited with during a tax year. The tax year runs for the 12 months between 6 April and 5 April of the next year.

The number of qualifying years you will need

The number of qualifying years needed for a State Pension depends on your gender, your State Pension Age and the date when you reach it. Read nidirect's guidance on qualifying years.

If you do not have sufficient qualifying years, your State Pension may be reduced. 

State Pension changes

There have also been changes to the State Pension. How these changes affect you depend on whether you are:

  • a man born before 6 April 1951 or a woman born before 6 April 1953
  • a man born on or after 6 April 1951 or a woman born on or after 6 April 1953

Read more on the State Pension changes.

What is the State Pension Age?

State Pension Age is the earliest age from which you can get your State Pension. It is increasing - see nidirect's guidance on checking your State Pension Age.

You can use GOV.UK's online state pension calculator to find out how much State Pension you may get. 

Pension credit

If you have reached the Pension credit qualifying age you may be entitled to pension credit. Pension Credit is made up of two parts Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit. The Guarantee Credit tops up your income to a guaranteed minimum amount if you have reached the qualifying age.

The Savings Credit is for those who have saved some money towards their retirement such as in a pension, you may be able to get it if you are 65 or over.

The age from which you may get Pension Credit - the qualifying age - is gradually going up.

Read more on Pension Credit.

  • Pension Service Credit Application Line
    0808 100 6165