Caption: Brian Tandy, one of the UK's leading experts on State Benefits
If you thought state pensions were simple, “I just take a pension when I retire and everyone gets the same amount”…think again!
The full state pension requires a certain level of National Insurance contributions. 35 years to be precise and they have to be 35 full years.
You should really get a state pension forecast within 5 years of starting work to make sure you have not missed any NI contributions in the early years, but that’s easy to say with hindsight.
Once you have reached state pension age there is not much you can do retrospectively. However if you stop earning and paying NI before state retirement age there may be something you can do to increase your pension entitlement.
The first step is to get an up to date forecast as soon as possible. If you have some incomplete years you can top them up or you can pay in some full years to ensure you have the full 35 years. The difference this can make to your state pension over a lifetime if you are lucky enough to have a long retirement means it will be well worth it. It represents great value as it’s subsidised by the government.
Obviously there is a risk that you buy the additional NI and then get run over by a bus the next day, unfortunately we don’t have a crystal ball but given average life expectancy it’s probably not a bad deal.
Royal London have produced a handy guide which explains how to go about the process.
Our team have had comprehensive training on state benefits from Brian Tandy...who has no intention of retiring! If you need some help with any of this, we are here!
Call the office on 01539 725855 or drop us an e-mail anytime with your query.