Skip to main content

Single-tier Pension

Volume 571: debated on Tuesday 3 December 2013

In advance of the Pensions Bill Second Reading in the House of Lords today, I can confirm that the minimum qualifying period for the new single-tier pension will be set at 10 qualifying years.

In our White Paper, “The single-tier pension: a simple foundation for saving”, we said that individuals reaching state pension age after the new system is introduced—in April 2016—would need between seven and 10 qualifying years in order to receive any state pension. In response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s recommendations, in the Pensions Bill we have limited the minimum qualifying period to a maximum of 10 years. Today’s announcement proposes that the minimum qualifying period be set at 10 qualifying years, with the intention to lay regulations (under clause 2(3) and clause 4(2) of the Pensions Bill) to this effect in due course.

Putting in place the minimum qualifying period will help ensure that state pension expenditure is targeted at individuals who have made a significant social or economic contribution.

People can build qualifying years in many ways; for example by paying national insurance or by receiving credits for a wide range of reasons, including caring for children, caring for others, or being too ill to work.

We have previously published the estimated effects of a 10-year minimum qualifying period in the impact assessment for the single-tier pension.