Retirement expert advises people to learn about state pensions
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State pension payments help many retired people right across the UK. However, what a person actually receives is dependent on several factors.
Perhaps most importantly is one’s National Insurance record as this is what payments usually hinge upon.
Eligibility will differ depending on which state pension a person is receiving.
For the older ‘basic’ state pension scheme, the Government states 30 years of qualifying National Insurance contributions are needed.
Falling short of this means pensioners will not get the current full basic state pension sum of £137.60 per week.
The rules are slightly different when it comes to the new state pension, which is worth noting.
People typically need to have 10 qualifying years on their record to get any new state pension.
The Government adds: “You’ll need 35 qualifying years to get the new full state pension if you do not have a National Insurance record before April 6, 2016.”
The current value of the full new state pension is £179.60 per week.
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Individuals should be aware they could get less than the new full state pension if they were contracted out.
People could get more than the new full state pension if they would have had over a certain amount of Additional state pension under the older rules of the scheme.
Some people will have gaps in their National Insurance record which means they could fall short of the full state pension.
This could be as a result of time spent abroad, low paid work or ineligibility for National Insurance credits.
To check, individuals can request a state pension forecast from the Government.
This will lay out how much state pension a person can get, and also when they could potentially receive it.
The Government then encourages people to apply for a National Insurance statement from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to find out more about their record.
Some people can have gaps in their National Insurance record and still get the full new state pension.
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However, others may wish to make voluntary National Insurance contributions.
In the 2021/22 tax year, Class 3 NI contribution rates are currently £15.04 per week.
People can usually pay voluntary contributions for the past six years, and the deadline is April 5 each year.
For example, people have until April 5, 2022 – today – to make up for gaps for the tax year 2015/16.
These do not always increase a state pension and so Britons should contact the Future Pension Centre to find out if they will benefit before taking action.
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