State pension: Expert discusses possible 'significant increase'
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State Pension payments are overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), responsible for ensuring everyone gets the amount to which they are entitled. The state pension is split into two tiers, with people receiving different sums depending on when they reached an eligible age. Firstly, the old, or “basic” state pension is for men born before April 6, 1951 and women born before April 6, 1953.
This tax year, the full basic state pension stands at £137.60 per week for those eligible.
Conversely, the new state pension helps men born on or after April 6, 1951 and the same for women born on or after April 6, 1953.
These individuals can get up to £179.60 per week in state pension under current rules.
What some may be unaware of, however, is that certain individuals, primarily those who qualify for the basic state pension, could get an additional sum.
This is known as the Additional State Pension and is a relief for many retired people right across the country.
As the Government explains: “The Additional State Pension is an extra amount you could get on top of your basic state pension.”
There is no fixed amount for the Additional State Pension, and what a person gets is based on a number of circumstances.
- A person’s earnings
- Whether they have contracted out of the scheme
- Whether they topped up their basic state pension (between October 12, 2015 and April 5, 2017)
- How many years one paid National Insurance for
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If a person reached state pension age on or after April 6, 2016, they will not be eligible for this Additional State Pension.
However, for those who reached the age before that date, and started claiming the basic state pension, eligibility will be unlocked.
The Additional State Pension is comprised of three key schemes, and individuals may have contributed to one or more throughout their lifetime.
Firstly is the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme, otherwise known as SERPS, which ran from 1978 to 2002, and people would have contributed if they were employed at that time.
Next is what is known as the State Second Pension, which ran from 2002 to 2016.
Individuals contributed if they were employed during this time, or claiming certain benefits.
Lastly, is the state pension top up scheme, which ran from the specific dates of October 12, 2015 to April 5, 2017.
Britons can expect to have contributed if they reached state pension age before April 6, 2016 and opted in.
Some, however, may have been contracted out of the Additional State Pension, if their employer at the time ran a contracted-out scheme.
In this case, while contracted out, a person will not have contributed to the Additional State Pension.
However, the extra pension they would have received from a contracted-out scheme, the Government states, is usually the same as, or more than the Additional State Pension they would have otherwise received.
Individuals can check if they were contracted out by finding an old payslip or calling a pension provider.
Thankfully, though, people will not have to take any action if they are eligible for an Additional State Pension, as they should automatically receive it when claiming their standard state pension sum.
The Government website states: “After you claim, the Pension Service will write to you and tell you how much you’re getting.”
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