About pensions: rates and claiming ages
A pension is a weekly benefit paid to you when you reach a certain age to help cover your basic needs in retirement.
The amount of pension you receive will depend on the amount of social security contributions you have paid during your working life.
Your pension is taxable so you must declare how much pension you receive on your tax return each year. If you live in Jersey we will send you an Annual Pension Statement each January. It will show your total pension for the previous year.
Current pension rate
The current full-rate pension is £199.99 a week.
If you’re a married man, you’ll get an increase of £132.02 a week if your marriage took place before 1 April 2001.
Your pension will be paid four weeks in advance directly into an account with any recognised bank or building society.
The rate of pension is reviewed on the first Thursday of October every year. We use the Jersey Earnings Index published on 30 June of the same year.
You don't have to do anything to receive the increase. It'll be paid to you automatically and you'll receive a letter telling you your new rate.
Age you can take a pension
If you were born before 1 January 1955, your pension is normally paid when you reach 65.
If you were born on or after 1 January 1955, you pension age has changed.
You can claim a reduced pension at any point when you’re between 63 and 65, but this reduced rate is payable for life. You must take this into account when planning for your future.
Women who joined the Social Security scheme before 1 January 1975 can claim a pension when they reach the age of 60.
Changes to the state pension age
Taking your pension early at 63
How to claim a pension
If you're living in Jersey and you've paid contributions in the last six years, you should receive a claim form from us about three months before you reach your 65th birthday.
If you haven't had the claim form one month before your birthday, contact us.
You should return the claim form as soon as possible. We can't back-date a pension for more than six months before the date you claim.
Requirements for claiming a pension
To get a pension, you must have paid contributions for at least four and a half years.
To get a pension at the full rate (100%), you must have paid or been credited with at total of 45 years' worth of contributions.
If your contribution record is 80% full, you'll be paid 80% of the standard rate of pension.
You won't normally get a pension if you have less than 10% entitlement (about 4.5 years' worth of contributions).
Working and claiming a pension
You don’t have to retire to get your pension. You can still work and receive pension payments.
If you do work after you reach pension age, you won’t have to pay contributions but you’ll need to swap your blue Social Security card for a red one.
Exemptions from contributions
Effects on other benefits
There are some benefits that won't be paid once you start receiving your pension. These include:
- Short Term Incapacity Allowance (STIA)
- Long Term Incapacity Allowance (LTIA)
- invalidity benefit
If you're receiving disablement benefit, this doesn't affect your entitlement to pension and both benefits can be paid at the same time. However, we can only pay an increase for a dependant wife on either your disablement benefit or your pension.
If you've paid social security contributions in another country
If you've made social security payments in another country, the contributions may count towards the contribution conditions for a Jersey pension.
Jersey currently has agreements with:
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Claiming an increase in your pension for your wife
Your pension can be increased if your wife is under 65 and:
- you were married before 1 April 2001
- she is living with you or
- she isn't living with you but you fully or mainly support her financially
The pension increase can't be paid if your wife is already getting a pension or any other social security benefit.
To claim an increase of pension for your wife, make sure you answer all the questions on the claim form and your wife has signed the relevant declaration.
Woman and pensions
If you're a woman who joined the Jersey Social Security scheme before 1 January 1975, you're entitled to claim a pension at 60 years old. If you decide to do this, you won't be able to receive any benefit that is paid to people under normal pension age, eg Short Term Incapacity Allowance.
If you haven't paid enough contributions to qualify for a pension at 60, you can continue to pay contributions until you're 65.
Claiming a pension as a married woman
If you're a married woman and want to claim a pension based on your husband's contribution record, you must fill in a separate claim form.
If you're near or over 65 when your husband claims his pension, you should receive a separate claim form. Contact us if you don't get one.
Using your husband's contributions to claim a pension
You can get a pension of your own using your husband's contribution record if:
- you were married before 1 April 2001
- you're at least 65 years old
- your husband is at least 65 years old and has qualified for a pension
Using an ex-husband's contributions to claim a pension
If you're divorced when you claim your pension but were married before 1 April 2001, we can use your ex-husband's contributions instead of your own for the time you were married.
If you're under 65 when your husband qualifies for his pension
If you're under 65 when your husband qualifies for his pension and you were married before 1 April 2001, he will get an increase to his pension for you.
When you reach 65, that increase will be given to you directly as a pension in your own right.
If you’re getting a widow’s benefit, you’ll be entitled to either a widow’s pension or an ‘old age’ pension based on your own contribution record when you turn 65 (whichever is more beneficial to you).
If you were married after 1 April 2001, you’ll receive a pension based on your own contribution record.
If you were married before 1 April 2001, we can use your husband’s contributions instead of your own for the time you were married.
Telling us about changes in your circumstances
You must tell us if you:
- change address
- change your bank or bank account
- are detained in prison
- get married
- leave Jersey
Paying your pension abroad
We can pay your pension to you anywhere in the world, but you must tell us well in advance.
Appealing a pension decision
If you're unhappy with the decision of the department, you should contact the Pension Zone at Social Security in La Motte Street.
Our pension advisors can give you a prediction of how much pension you may be entitled to.
It can be useful if you’re thinking of taking your pension early, or retiring and opting out of the Social Security system at 60.
Opting out of contributions at 60
How to get a pension forecast
You can get application forms for a pension forecast from the main reception of Social Security or you can call and ask for a form to be sent to you.
Concessions and benefits for pensioners
You may be entitled to concessions and benefits once you reach pension age.
Concessions & Benefits for Senior Citizens on the Citizens Advice Bureau website