Prince Charles to claim state pension – and donate it to charity

Heir's 65th birthday is next week and he will give statutory entitlement from navy service to charity for older people

His retirement years will not exactly be typical – for a start there's a rather big job still to be done at an unknown point in his future. But the Prince of Wales has indicated that in one respect at least he will mark his 65th birthday next week like any other pensioner – by claiming his state pension.

Clarence House has confirmed that Prince Charles has completed the necessary claim forms and from 14 November will claim his statutory entitlement of up to £110.15 per week.

Rather than saving it for Saga holidays and membership of the National Trust, however, the prince intends to donate the sum to a charity supporting older people, the identity of which is yet to be confirmed. Happily, with an income of £19m last year from his Duchy of Cornwall estate, he is unlikely to find himself out of pocket.

The prince is entitled to the benefit having paid national insurance contributions during his five-year career in the navy, and after paying additional voluntary contributions after leaving service in 1976. The precise value of the sum he will receive has not been confirmed; the maximum pension is paid only to those who have contributed for 30 years or more. It is not known whether the Duchess of Cornwall, who is 66, claims a pension. Women are currently entitled to a state pension from the age of 61 years and eight months, an age which is gradually being increased.

The prince does not have a lavish party planned for his birthday, but instead will mark it by travelling from India, where he is currently on a nine-day tour accompanied by the duchess, to Sri Lanka, where he will host the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in the place of the Queen - the first time he has deputised for his 87-year-old mother in an official state capacity.


Esther Addley

The GuardianTramp

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