There is a new form published to apply for a UK State Pension forecast, please find here: https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...nteractive.pdf
You would do this to ascertain how many qualifying years you have accrued for the basic state pension.
Currently 30 full years is required for the full basic state pension and 1 year is the minimum requirement to receive anything, if you do not have 30 years you will still qualify for a pro rated amount
However from April next year a new single tier state pension comes into play and a minimum of 10 qualifying years is required to get anything and to get the then full amount 35 years is required.
Once someone has applied for a forecast to ascertain how many years they have it is possible to pay voluntary contributions to top up missing years, this is possible at this stage based on class 3 contributions but you may be eligible to pay class 2 contributions however this is not automatic and you would have to apply to be accepted for this.
Remember though that 10 years minimum will be required from next year however it is possible to backdate voluntary contributions for a number of years.