STATE PENSIONS

If you’ve made National Insurance contributions throughout your life, you’re entitled to a state pension when you reach qualifying age, depending on certain criteria. The state pension has recently changed with new rules for men born on or after 6 April 1951 and women born on or after 6 April 1953.

Pensions

The old state pension

You have now reached the age to qualify for the old state pension. If you’ve made National Insurance contributions for 30 years, either through paying it yourself or through credits, you’re entitled to the full state pension of £119.30 per week, which will rise each year. The basic State Pension increases every year by whichever is the highest:

  • Earnings – the average percentage growth in wages (in Great Britain)
  • Prices – the percentage growth in prices in the UK as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI)
  • 2.5%

If you’ve made contributions for fewer than 30 years then you may still be entitled to a state pension but at a lower amount. Options are available to top up but there are many different rules for eligibility. If you’re worried about how much state pension you can earn, we recommend you seek free advice from an expert.

The new state pension

You’ll usually need to have made at least 10 years of National Insurance contributions to get some form of the new state pension. Payments vary depending on the amount of contributions you’ve made. The full new state pension is £155.65 per week, but this can be higher if you’ve sufficient ‘Additional State Pension’.

The amount you’re eligible for is calculated differently depending on how many years you made contributions both before and after 6 April 2016, when the rules changed.

There are a number of different factors which can influence your final pension amount. These include whether you’re divorced or if you’ve worked overseas.

When can you claim?

The state pension age is rising, but it’s not currently fully formalized. By 2018 it will be standardized at 65 years of age for men and women with an incremental rise up to 68 already mapped out. However as life expectancy continues to improve it already looks likely that it will reach 70 and some have even predicted children born in the next few years could be waiting until they reach 74 before being able to claim their state pension entitlement.

What do you need to do?

For many people, the state pension provides a guaranteed and increasing income in retirement that is needed to pay for basic essentials, however when average living costs are considered it is insufficient to let you experience the full potential of your retirement.

Often, for many, the state pension doesn’t cover essential living costs and therefore a personal pension provision is nearly always recommended. That’s why it’s so important to plan ahead now and find the best options to help you build as big a pension pot as possible, to let you live a comfortable life during your retirement.

At moneyextra.com we can put you in touch with trusted Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) who can give you guidance on the best ways to invest your money now, so that you reap the rewards in future. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and our partners are specialists who can offer free one-on-one advice tailored to you. Initial discussions are free and without obligation and there are no upfront costs.

Our advice is to speak to an Independent Financial Advisor no later than five years before you’re due to start your state pension. They can help you make the most of all your pension options, and five years leaves enough time to top up key pots and accounts to make sure you’re taking advantage of the solutions available and not left struggling when it comes to retirement age.

State Pension Calculator

The government has a service that allows you to check your current state pension forecast – including how much you’re likely to get, how much you would get if you stopped paying National Insurance now, and when you’ll qualify to claim it.

You can view your calculation online here

State Pension Statement

If you’d rather receive a written statement with details of your State Pension forecast, you can fill in a BR19 form.

You can find the form here

You can also request a statement by calling 0800 731 7898

DIY
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