State pensions

The State Pension changed on 6 April 2016 for people who reach State Pension age on or after that date. This is men born on or after 6 April 1951 and women born on or after 6 April 1953. The old rules (which include basic State Pension and Additional State Pension) were complicated, making it difficult to know how much you'd get until you were close to State Pension age.  Not everyone will get the full new State Pension though, as it will depend on your National Insurance record.

This pension is payable from State Pension Age and is not included in the Lifetime Allowance. Check your State Pension Age here.

You can find more on the State Pension and how to claim it on the Government's website.

Your tax may change when your State Pension comes into payment, you can see more on how this might affect your Lothian Pension Fund pension in the Tax section.

Contracted Out Pension Equivalent (COPE) 

Contracted Out Pension Equivalent (COPE) is part of the benefits already in payment and no additional amount will be paid in respect of it. 

To help you understand how COPE works, the background to the additional State Pension (previously known as State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) and State Second pension (S2P)) is it was introduced in 1978 with the aim of providing everyone with an earnings-related pension.  This was because there was a division between those who had access to an occupational pension scheme and those who had to rely on the state pension.  If employers “contracted out” and promised to pay a Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) both employer and employee paid NI at a lower contracted-out rate. Most public sector defined benefit schemes contracted out.  

The new single tier State Pension was introduced in April 2016. For members who reach State Pension Age after that date, it compares entitlement under the old and new arrangements to determine a starting amount for your single-tier pension.  A deduction is made to take account of any contracted-out employment and any GMP that has been earned.  This is expressed as a Contracted-Out Pension Equivalent (COPE) and should be broadly the same as your GMP. 


Helpful Information

  • Department of Work & Pensions
  • Direct GOV Website
  • State Pension Age Calculator

Department of Work & Pensions

Canoe in open water

Direct GOV Website

Link to Direct GOV Website 

State Pension Age Calculator

My Pension Online