STATE PENSION payments are made every four weeks after the first payment. As December rolls around, it may be that some people find that their payment date differs this month. Who will be affected?
Whether a person gets the new or the basic state pension, after the first payment, the state pension is usually paid every four weeks, into an account of the claimant’s choice. The state pension is paid “in arrears”, meaning the payment is for the last four weeks, rather than the upcoming four weeks.
These rules differ if a person lives abroad.
For the basic state pension, the first payment is made at the end of the first full week after the person reaches state pension age – unless they have deferred it.
Should this be the case, then they would start getting the payment at the end of the first full week in which a person wants to start getting the state pension.
The first payment will not include the time between reaching state pension age and the normal payment day if this is less than one week.
For the new state pension, a person’s first payment will be within five weeks of reaching state pension age, unless the claim is deferred.
The claimant will get a full payment every four weeks after that.
It may be that a claimant is able to get part of their payment before their first full payment, gov.uk says, adding that the state pension letter will tell the recipient what to expect.
The day the state pension is paid depends on the last two digits of a person’s National Insurance number.
For instance, if this is between 00 and 19, the payment day is Monday.
The payment day is Tuesday if the final two digits are 20 to 39, and Wednesday for numbers ending in 40 to 59.
Should the final two digits be 60 to 79, the payment day is Thursday, and for 80 to 99, a Friday.
The Gov.uk website details what happens if a payment date falls on a weekend or a bank holiday.
It says that should this occur, recipients will usually be paid on the working day before – although this may be different for tax credits and Child Benefit.
This month, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are bank holidays, with these events falling on a Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
As such, it may be that people who are expecting a payment on Wednesday December 25 and Thursday December 26, may instead get the payment on Christmas Eve.
New Years’ Day next month – and next year – falls on Wednesday January 1.
This means that state pension claimants who were expecting a payment on this date should instead be paid on Tuesday December 31.
The state pension is set to rise by 3.9 percent next year, in April 2020.
This is due to the triple lock, which sees it increase annually by whichever is the highest out of the average percentage growth in wages (in Great Britain), the percentage growth in prices in the UK as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), or 2.5 percent.
Wages growth for the three months to July was 3.9 percent, resulting in this rate of increase next year.