FAQ - Is the State Pension means-tested?


Sarah Austin, Independent Financial Adviser at Cambridge-based Martin-Redman Partners explains the State Pension, which most of us will receive, in more detail.

The basic State Pension is not means-tested; it is a regular payment from the government, based on your lifetime National Insurance contributions. It can be confused with Pension Credit, a welfare benefit, which is means-tested and will need to be applied for if your weekly income is less than the threshold, (£167.75 for a single person or £255.25 for a couple, 2020/2021).

For many people, the State Pension is only part of their retirement income. For example, they may also have money from a workplace pension, personal pensions, investments and/or earnings.

The State Pension is available to all people who have made qualifying National Insurance contributions through their working life, whether they are employed or self-employed. Not everyone gets the same amount of State Pension - how much you get depends on your National Insurance record.

To get the full State Pension £175.20 per week (as of this 2020/21 tax year) you must have made 35 years of National Insurance contributions. If you have less years, the amount of State Pension will be reduced proportionally.

For example; if once you reach your State Pension Age you had 25 years of National Insurance Contributions, you could expect to receive a State Pension of:

  • 25/35 x £175.20 = £125.14 per week

One important point to note is that if you have less than 10 years of NI contributions you may end up with no state pension at all.

How can I find out how much I could get?
You can get a State Pension forecast online from the government ‘Check your State Pension’ service. This provides personalised information, including your State Pension age, an estimate of how much State Pension you may get at that point and if you can increase this amount. It also allows you to view your National Insurance contribution history.

We would recommend you get your forecast, which can then be included in your retirement plan.

Please find a link here: www.gov.uk/check-state-pension


Arrange a meeting to discuss your pension and retirement arrangements
Please get in touch with us to arrange an introductory meeting, at our cost. At Martin-Redman Partners we have both male and female advisers who can help you make the most of your money – either by managing your investments and/or assisting with your financial planning.

To find out more about how we can help, or if you have any questions about any point in this article please get in touch by calling us on 01223 792196 or emailing info@martin-redmanpartners.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you.

About Martin-Redman Partners  

We are a team of experienced Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) who can advise on your personal or business financial arrangements. We have been building trusted relationships with clients for many years by articulating clear and tailored recommendations in areas ranging from investments to pensions and retirement planning, to complex estate planning advice. 

We offer expert independent financial advice throughout Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Suffolk, East Anglia and the South East.  Many of our clients are within, or are in the surrounding areas of Cambridge, Grantham, Stamford, Bury St Edmunds, Frinton on Sea, Ely, Peterborough, Huntingdon, Cambourne, Newmarket, Soham and Oundle.

The information contained is for guidance only and does not constitute financial advice. It is based on our understanding of UK legislation, whether proposed or in force, and market practice at the time of writing. Levels, bases and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change. Accordingly, no responsibility can be assumed by Martin-Redman Partners its officers or employees, for any loss in connection with the content hereof and any such action or inaction.


We provide independent financial advice on investments, pensions, inheritance tax planning and protection. We work with private individuals, businesses and professional introducers, such as accountants and solicitors, to ensure our clients financial advice needs are met.

Martin-Redman Partners