Since 12 October 2015 anyone eligible to receive a State Pension before 6 April 2016 can obtain a State Pension top up to increase their pension income by between £1 and £25 per week. This is the case, even where an individual has decided to defer receipt of the State Pension.

It offers:

  • a boost in retirement income up to £1,300 per year for life
  • pension payments protected against inflation
  • inheritance for a surviving spouse or civil partner of between 50% and 100% of top up income

Applicants for a top up will need to make a lump sum contribution by 5 April 2017. The amount of the contribution depends on the age of the applicant and the amount of extra income they want. More information is available at

Autonomy Wealth View: Compared to the standard annuity rates available from insurance companies, the “rates” of return on offer are relatively attractive. However, as others have noted, it is somewhat ironic that having introduced pension reforms which have led to a massive drop in demand for pension annuities that the government has in effect entered the annuity business itself.

This option may be suitable for those with good life expectancy, a need for income, do not wish to take investment risk, and have surplus funds on deposit which they are comfortable to exchange for an inflation-linked income for life. For others, retaining access to that capital may be more attractive.