Search Legislation

Pensions Act (Northern Ireland) 2008

Pension categories

There are four categories of state pension provided under the Contributions and Benefits Act:

  • Category A

  • Category B

  • Category C (there are no remaining beneficiaries in Northern Ireland)

  • Category D.

A Category A pension is contributory. It consists of two parts, either or both of which may be payable:

  • basic state pension - dependent upon the number of qualifying years a person has in their working life;

  • additional state pension (also referred to as state second pension) - dependent upon earnings, or deemed earnings, in a person’s working life since April 1978.

A Category B pension is also contributory. Like a Category A pension, it can consist of either a basic state pension or an additional state pension, or both. It is payable by virtue of a spouse’s or civil partner’s qualifying years and earnings.

A Category D pension is non-contributory. It is payable when a person:

  • reaches age 80; and

  • satisfies certain residence conditions; and either

  • is not entitled to another category of state pension; or

  • is entitled to one at a lower rate than the Category D rate.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources