State pension rising to £185 per week – but some won’t get full amount

Financial expert explains changes to the state pension

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The state pension increases every year to help pensioners maintain their spending power, but not everyone is able to get the maximum amount of state pension when they come to claim it. A free online service could show future pensioners how much they will get.

At present, the full new state pension is worth £179.60 per week, but this will rise from April 2022.

A 3.1 percent increase in the state pension will kick in from the start of the 2022/23 tax year, taking the full new state pension to £185.15 per week.

However, not everyone gets the full state pension when they reach state pension age.

Britons can check how much they might get by using the Government’s state pension forecast tool.

The free service can be used to find out:

  • How much state pension someone may be entitled to
  • If they can increase it, and how to do so
  • When they can claim the state pension

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The exact amount of state pension someone can receive depends on their National Insurance record.

Britons need at least 10 years of National Insurance contributions to get any state pension.

To get the full amount, they could need 35 years on their record.

Qualifying years of National Insurance can be earned through working, receiving certain benefits or by paying voluntary contributions.

The forecast can give people an estimate of how much state pension they may receive based on their National Insurance record, and if there are any gaps in their record which could mean they do not qualify for the full amount.

People can then explore whether they could increase their entitlement to the state pension by picking up National Insurance credits through certain benefits they may be eligible for, or by paying voluntary contributions.

To use the service, people must sign in with either the Government Gateway or GOV.UK Verify.

Someone will have a user ID for the Government Gateway if they have previously signed up, which they may have done to file a Self Assessment tax return.

Those who have already proven their identity with either Digidentify or the Post Office will have a GOV.UK Verify account.

Anyone who does not have either account can sign up and then access their forecast.

It is possible to get a forecast by post or by phone, by either filling out a BR19 application form and sending it to the Pension Centre or by calling the Future Pension Centre helpline on 0800 731 0175.

People should note that the service cannot be used by people who have already begun claiming their state pension, or by those who have deferred it.

The forecast does not take account of any future increases in the state pension, so users should not take their estimated amount to be a definitive figure.

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