State pension: When will I be paid?

Paul Lewis / 15 November 2013 ( 14 February 2020 )

Contrary to popular belief you do not start receiving your pension as soon as you reach state pension age.

For most people payment of the state pension normally begins not on the day you reach your pension age but on the next 'payday', which can be up to six days later.

Women born between November 6, 1951 and December 5, 1951 reached state pension age on Saturday, July 6, 2013, for example. But in fact it might not have started until Friday, July 12 that year, because the state pension begins on a 'payday' – which is always a weekday - and the day depends on the last two digits of your National Insurance number.

Are you one of the women disadvantaged by the changes to state pension age?

The only people who get their state pension from day one are those whose retirement age and birthday fall on the same day of the week. The rest have to wait up to six days.

Even the name 'payday' is misleading, as the state pension is now routinely paid four-weekly in arrears into your bank account. So these women would not have been paid until August 5. You can ask for it to be paid weekly in arrears.

The rules for people who reached pension age before April 6, 2010 are different - their 'payday' is normally a Monday or a Thursday and they can apply to have it paid weeky in advance.

Changes to the state pension age

The state pension age rises from 65 to 66 as of October 2020. The state pension arc, however, is only going in one direction – and that is upwards. The state pension age is expected to be rising once again - to 67 - between 2026 and 2028.

Changes in life expectancy mean that the state pension age is constantly being reviewed, so other further changes are likely in the future.

Check out your pension ‘payday’

Check your pension 'payday' against your National Insurance number:

Last two digits of NI number ('Payday' state pension begins):

00-19: Monday
20-39: Tuesday
40-59: Wednesday
60-79: Thursday
80-99: Friday

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.