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Getting a State Pension forecast

This forecast tells you how much State Pension you may get when you reach State Pension age. Find out how you can get a forecast and what information you will need before you apply. You can also get help if you have questions about the forecast you have received.

What does a State Pension forecast include?

A State Pension forecast gives you an estimate of your:

  • basic State Pension
  • additional State Pension (also called the State Second Pension and formerly known as the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS))

See 'Understanding your State Pension forecast' for important information about rule changes that may affect the additional State Pension.

In particular, your forecast will give you:

  • your current number of qualifying years (the number of years you have paid or been credited with National Insurance (NI) contributions)
  • an estimate of the current value of your State Pension, based on the information currently held on your NI record
  • an estimate of how much State Pension you may get at State Pension age, based on assumptions that have been made about further NI contributions you may make or be credited with between the time the forecast is issued and when you reach State Pension age
  • a forecast of how much you could get by putting off claiming your State Pension, if you have asked for it 
  • information on how you may be able to improve your basic State Pension 
  • the effect on your additional State Pension if you are contracted out, either through a company pension scheme or a personal pension 
  • information on whether you can improve your State Pension by using your late or former spouse's or civil partner's NI contributions (if this is applicable)

Who can get a State Pension forecast?

To get a forecast online all of the following must apply:

  • you live in the UK
  • you are more than four months away from State Pension age 
  • you are not widowed/your civil partner has not died

To get a forecast by post or telephone all of the following must apply:

  • you live in the UK
  • you are more than 30 days away from State Pension age

You may not get a State Pension forecast because either:

  • you are too close to your State Pension age
  • you have already reached your State Pension age

You can still contact The Pension Service to discuss what you may get, including the effects of deferring your claim.

You can get a forecast for your entitlement using the date you intend to claim in the future if you are both:

  • over State Pension age
  • have  put off claiming

For more information, contact The Pension Service. Contact details are available by following the link below.

Information you will need to apply for a State Pension forecast

You will need the following information to apply for a forecast:

  • your National Insurance (NI) number (and your spouse's or civil partner's, if you are married or in a civil partnership)
  • the types of NI contributions you are paying (this depends, for example, on whether you are employed or self-employed)
  • details of any marriages, civil partnerships or annulments 
  • details of any time you have spent working abroad 
  • details of your current salary if you are paid by an employer (rather than self-employed)

If you are not sure about your NI contributions, find out more about NI on the following page:

Applying for a State Pension forecast online

If you are already registered with another government online service (as an individual) then you can enrol for the State Pension forecast service right away.

You can use your Government Gateway User ID and password, but you will need to wait for an activation code to come through the post.

If you don’t have a Government Gateway account, then one will be created for you when you first apply for a State Pension forecast online.

To ensure security your ‘User ID’ will be sent through the post by the Government Gateway along with an activation code.

You need to activate the service within 28 days of receiving the code. You will only need to use the activation code once.

To request or enquire about a State Pension forecast, contact the State Pension Forecasting Team. The team is part of the Future Pensions Centre.

Applying for a State Pension forecast by phone

You can ask for a forecast by calling the State Pension forecast team. They will fill out the form for you and send you a forecast in the post in around 15 working days.

Applying for a State Pension forecast by post

If you prefer, you can complete and return application form (BR19). There are two ways to do this:

  • download an application form, print it, fill it in by hand and return it by post 
  • download an application form, fill it in on your computer, print it and return it by post

It may take around 15 working days to prepare your forecast from when your application is received.

Understanding your State Pension forecast

If you have received your State Pension forecast and need further help understanding what it means, read ‘Understanding the State Pension forecast’.

Your State Pension forecast may refer to members of some private pension schemes contracting back into the additional State Pension. Read ‘Understanding the State Pension forecast’ to find out more about how this might affect you.

National Insurance and your State Pension forecast

If you have received your State Pension forecast and need help understanding the affect National Insurance has on your forecast, then read the following:

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