Hello and welcome. Thank you for providing an opportunity to assist you.
First of all, let me try and highlight the basic and fundamental difference between State and Occupational Pension.
The state pension is what all people in the UK receive once they reach the state retirement age (currently 65). This is funded by National Insurance contributions made while in work.
On the other hand, An occupational pension is one that is provided by your employer into which you pay a certain amount of your salary each week/month with your employer also making a contribution. You can then access this once you retire from your employment. Occupational schemes might be defined benefit (as in the public sector) or ‘defined contribution’. Defined contribution schemes deliver pensions that build up through investments and the pension an employee receives will be determined by the growth (or not) of their investment over time.
Having said this, so far as claiming State Pension goes, YES, you can apply for it now. You should get a letter 4 months before you reach State Pension age, telling you what to do.
If you haven’t got a letter 3 months before your State Pension age, phone the claim line. They’ll discuss with you what you need to do.There are 4 ways to claim it and they are as under.
1. CLAIM IT ONLINE
2. Over the phone -State Pension claim line
Telephone: 0800(###) ###-####br/> Textphone: 0800(###) ###-####br/> Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (except public holidays)
3. download the State Pension claim form
and send it to your local pension centre
Coming to your one more question -- YES, both State and Occupational Pensions are paid separately.
I am sure this would help.
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