The State Pension is provided to those people who have made or been credited with sufficient National Insurance contributions during their working lives.
When do I get my State Pension?
State pension age is currently 65 for men and 60 for women, however, changes in legislation have been introduced to equalise retirement ages for both men and women to age 65 by 2020, increasing gradually from 2010. Women born between 6th April 1950 and 5th April 1955 will have a State pension age somewhere between 60 and 65.
Thankfully, the Pension Service have provided a State Pension Age Calculator on their website.
Will it Stop there Though?
No. In the UK we are suffering from the effects of an aging population. Todays pensions are paid out of todays National Insurance contributions. Over time the size of the working population will fall and the size of the retired population will rise.
Between 2024 and 2046, State retirement age for both men and women will rise from 65 to 68.
How Many Years to Qualify?
Your National Insurance record needs to show the following level of service
How Much Will I Get?
The actual amount differs from one person to the next – did you know you can request a State Pension Forecast – simply complete form BR19.
How do I Claim my State Pension?
You will normally be sent a letter 4 months before your State retirement date although you should contact them if you haven’t received a letter from them 3 months prior to retirement – you can claim over the phone 0800 731 7898 .
Will I get Other Pension Benefits from the State?
Again, depending on your own particular circumstances, you may qualify for additional pension in the form of SERPS or State Second Pension. The rules are complicated and it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss SERPS and SSP in any great detail.
What Action Should I Take Today?
It would be prudent to work out your State pension date to allow you to plan your income and expenditure in the lead up to retirement – use this calculator.
More importantly, you would be wise to ask the Pension Service for a State Pension Forecast – simply fill out and send off their form BR19 (1.17MB) or call them at the Future Pension Centre on 0845 300 0168 . If you are hard of hearing or have speech difficulties they also offer a Textphone facility – 0845 3000 169.
We will discuss SERPS, Second State Pension etc in more detail at a later date.