State pension can provide claimants with up to £175.20 per week if they have at least 35 years of National Insurance contributions. This amount can be varied by things such as having an “additional” state pension or deferring the payments but the basic claiming rules remain the same in all cases.
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State pension will never be paid automatically, a person will need to claim their state pension when approaching state pension age.
The first payment should arrive within five weeks of reaching state pension age, with following payments arriving every four weeks after that.
In some instances, the first payment will only include a portion of a total amount owed but the claimant will be given a letter telling them what to expect.
Once the initial payment issues are sorted, claimants will see the income come through in a regular schedule but this schedule may be altered at certain points throughout the year.
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The payments can come through on any day of the working week, with the specific day determined by the last two digits of the claimants National Insurance number.
If a claimants National Insurance number ends with anything between 00 to 19 their payment will come through on a Monday but this will see a one-off alteration this week.
The coming Monday (May 25) is a bank holiday and state pension payments that fall on a bank holiday will be rescheduled to come through on the last working day before it occurs.
This means that state pensioners expecting a usual payment to come through on May 25 will actually have their income arrive this Friday (May 22).
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Beyond this, state pensioners will see further alterations to their payment dates on August 31, December 25 and December 28 as bank holidays also fall on these dates.
People who are approaching state pension age have tools available to them which can help check on all these concerns.
The government currently offer a state pension forecasting tool on their website which can help people:
- Find out how much state pension they could get
- When they may be able to claim it
- Find out how they may be able to increase it
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Some people approaching retirement age may have additional complications to factor in as the state will be making changes to state pension age in the coming years.
Currently, the state pension age varies between 65 and 66 but under current proposals the government plan to incrementally increase it.
From October 2020, people will qualify for state pension on their 66 birthday and it will increase to 68 between 2037 and 2039.
The timetable for this increase was brought forward by the government due to cost and life expectancy reasons.
These increases have faced criticism from various groups in the UK, most notably including WASPI.
However, the government highlight that the increases are necessary and they have made efforts to boost private pension arrangements to create a holistically effective pension environment.
As David Gauke, a previous Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, commented on the changes at the time: “Since 1948 the State Pension has been an important part of society, providing financial security to all in later life.
“As life expectancy continues to rise and the number of people in receipt of State Pension increases, we need to ensure that we have a fair and sustainable system that is reflective of modern life and protected for future generations.
“Combined with our pension reforms that are helping more people than ever save into a private pension and reducing pensioner poverty to a near record low, these changes will give people the certainty they need to plan ahead for retirement.”
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