Building up your entitlement to an extra pension

If you are in work, you may also be building up entitlement to the Additional State Pension. The Additional State Pension, or State Second Pension (S2P), is paid in addition to the Basic State Pension. Your entitlement to the Additional State Pension, whether from SERPS (State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme) or S2P, is calculated when you claim the Basic State Pension.


The Additional State Pension is based on your earnings in tax years from April 1978 up to the last complete tax year before you reach state pension age.

Between April 1978 and April 2002, this extra pension was called SERPS. Since April 2002 it has been called S2P. The calculation of S2P is more generous for low and moderate earners, who receive proportionately more from the S2P. Also, since April 2002, it has become possible for people who are carers, or have a long-term illness or disability, to qualify for the Additional State Pension.

All employees who earn more than the lower earnings limit for the relevant tax year qualify for the Additional State Pension unless they join an occupational or personal pension scheme that is contracted out.

If you are a carer, you can build up your entitlement to Additional State Pension – for example, if you receive Child Benefit and look after a child under six years old; if you are entitled to Carer’s Allowance; or if you look after a sick or disabled person and are receiving Home Responsibilities Protection.

Self-employed people do not qualify for Additional State Pension.