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Additional State Pension

Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be entitled to additional State Pension. As its name suggests, additional State Pension is paid in addition to the basic State Pension.

Until April 2002, it was usually known as SERPS (introduced in 1978) and depended solely on the National Insurance contributions you paid as an employee.

From April 2002, State Second Pension reforms SERPS to provide a better additional State Pension for low and moderate earners, and certain carers and long-term disabled people.

Can I just get my own private pension instead?

Yes, you can decide to leave (contract out of) the additional State Pension by instead choosing to take out an occupational pension or a personal pension (including a stakeholder pension).

If you choose to contract out of the additional State Pension and instead join a contracted-out occupational pension scheme (a scheme run by some employers), you and your employer will then pay lower National Insurance contributions.

If you choose to contract out through a personal pension or a stakeholder pension, you will still continue to pay full-rate National Insurance contributions. But, once a year HM Revenue & Customs will pay directly into your personal pension a rebate of your National Insurance contributions, which is intended to provide benefits broadly the same as the additional State Pension given up.

You can view and print our leaflet Contracted-out pensions-Your guide for more information, or order it online.

Can my spouse inherit my additional State Pension?

If you are currently in the SERPS scheme, there is some important information you need to know about the inheritance rules.

State Second Pension can only be inherited up to a maximum of 50%. Please read our leaflet 'Important information for married people- Inheritance of SERPS' or read more on the SERPS section on this website.

More about State Pensions

You can view and print or order a copy of State Pensions - Your guide or State Pensions for carers and parents - Your guide from our resource centre for more information.

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