Do I have to take my State Pension as soon as I reach State Pension Age?

No, you can put off claiming your state pension until after you reach your state pension age, for example if you are still working, and you’ll no longer have to pay National Insurance. In return, you can get either a bigger pension (extra paid with your regular State Pension payment) or, if you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you could claim a lump sum.

If you reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016 and you defer claiming, your State Pension increases by 1% for every 9 weeks (just under 5.8% for every full year). If you reached SPA before the 6 April 2016, but deferred making a claim, when you claim it your State Pension increases by 1% for every 5 weeks (10.4% for every full year).

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.