Britons urged to get state pension forecast now as half of adults unaware how much they can get in retirement

Person looking worried at their phone

Working age adults are being urged to check their state pension forecast

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 31/08/2023

- 14:41

Updated: 31/08/2023

- 14:42

A state pension forecast can be accessed online or by post

Half of adults (52 per cent) who are yet to claim their UK state pension have never checked how much state pension they are likely to receive, according to new research.

A nationally representative survey of 4,000 people from Royal London also showed that over half of respondents (51 per cent) yet to access their state pension thought everyone was automatically entitled to the full amount or didn’t know how was entitled.

It comes despite one in five retirees currently relying on the state pension as their only source of income.

Around a third (32 per cent) of state pension recipients surveyed said they are struggling and have to supplement it with other income or savings, sparking a warning to working-age adults to get a state pension forecast and plan for their retirement.

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Not everyone will get the full state pension


Sarah Pennells, consumer finance specialist at Royal London, said: “The state pension is the foundation of most people’s income in retirement, but for one in five of those who’ve retired, it’s their sole form of income.”

She added: “I’d encourage anyone who has been putting off thinking about their retirement to make a start by getting a copy of their state pension forecast.

“Once they know that, they can work out how much income they’d need in retirement to afford the life they’d like and can begin to plan what they need to do with their finances to start to bridge that gap.

“There are plenty of free online tools and resources to help you."

The personal finance expert warned failing to put other forms of income in place could mean “many years” of difficult budgeting decisions.

She said: “The cost of living crisis is putting extra pressure on household budgets, but relying on the state pension alone could mean many years of making very tough choices about spending for millions of people, so the more that people can do now to provide for their retirement, the more comfortable they could be in their later years.”

There are several ways to get a state pension forecast.

The government says the quickest way to apply is online, which can be done via the “Check your state pension forecast” section of

It’s also possible to fill in the BR19 application form and send it by post, provided the applicant’s state pension age is in more than 30 days.

Likewise, a person can call the Future Pension Centre who will then post the forecast to the applicant.

Ahead of using the service, it’s important to be aware the state pension age is “regularly reviewed” so the results of the tool may change in the future.

Person holding money in hands

The full new state pension is currently £203.85 a week


People who have deferred claiming the state pension or have already claimed the state pension can’t use the service.

Instead, they should contact the Pension Service if they live in the UK or the International Pension Centre if they live abroad.

To qualify for the state pension, a person needs at least 10 years of qualifying National Insurance contributions.

For the full new state pension, which is currently £203.85 a week, a person usually needs 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions.

The full basic state pension is currently £156.20 per week and the number of qualifying years a person needs for the full amount depends on when they were born.

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