You'll need 35 years to get the full £168.60 rate (which itself rises each year by 2.5%, inflation or average wage growth – whichever is highest). Crucially, you don't have to start from scratch from 6 April 2016 – any qualifying years earned before this date will count along with subsequent years.
And some people can get more. Under the old state pension rules, workers were able to build up what's known as the additional state pension (also called the second state pension, S2P, or SERPS) – a top-up to the former basic state pension. Although the new rules have now scrapped this top-up, the Government has allowed many workers in their 40s, 50s, and early-60s to keep their existing entitlement.
This is part of the Government's pledge that people who worked to build up a healthy state pension under the old rules shouldn't lose out under the new one.
To make it work – and it is fiendishly complicated – what you'll get depends on a so-called 'starting sum' calculation. This compares what you'd have been entitled to under the old and new regimes – and, in a nutshell, you'll get the higher of the two.
This extra money is known as your 'protected payment' and will be highlighted on your state pension statement.
To get somewhere in between
You'll get the equivalent value of the state pension according to the total number of years you've built up – so 23 years would give you roughly two-thirds of the current £168.60 payout, or about £111.
As a guide to what you might get, multiply the number of years you've got by £4.80 – this figure is what each qualifying year is roughly worth.
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