The Coalition Government has changed the age rules for qualification for the state pension. Currently the state pension age is between 60 and 65 for women and 65 for men. The changes mean that retirement age for women will be equalised with that for men at 65 by 2018 and both will increase to 66 from 2020, to 67 from 2034/36 and to 68 from 2044/46.
These changes, which affect those women born after 6 April 1953 and men born after 6 December 1953, have been brought about by the Government's intention to reduce the welfare bill, it is expected that these changes will mean that more than five million people will receive state pension later than previously expected.
The conditions for getting the state pension were amended by the Pensions Act 2007 and mainly affected people reaching state pension age on or after 6 April 2010. The changes introduced partly as a result of the fact that less than 25% of women were entitled to a full state pension.
From 6 April 2010 the number of qualifying years for a full basic state pension reduced to 30. A qualifying year is each tax year in which enough national insurance was paid or treated as paid or credited as contributed. Each qualifying year is worth 1/30th of the full basic state pension.
Those with very few qualifying years will be able to secure some basic state pension.