Increase your state pension payments before and after retirement age by checking these five things


State Pension provides financial support each month to around 12.6 million people across the UK, 981,399 of whom are Scottish and for some it is their only source of income during their retirement years.

However, recent data from an Opinium survey of 2,000 people carried out in August 2021, on behalf of Hargreaves Lansdown, found that more than a third (36%) of people don’t know how much they might expect. to receive state pension, including 43 percent of women.

A quarter (26%) expected between £ 151 and £ 200 per week – the current new full state pension is worth £ 179.60 per week while the basic state pension is £ 137.60 per week.

One in five people don’t know when to get their state pension

A recent analysis by Hargreaves Lansdown of UK government figures shows that over 2 million older people currently receive less than £ 100 a week in state pension payments.

Commenting on the results, Helen Morrissey, Senior Pensions and Retirement Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “We don’t know when we’ll get our state pension, or how much we’ll get, which makes retirement planning almost impossible. . “

She continued, “The state’s retirement age has increased in recent years, which has either overtaken people, left them completely confused, so a large number of people have no idea when they will. could receive their pension.

“Not surprisingly, more young people are in the dark, partly because it’s such a distant prospect, and partly because some of them are likely to expect more age increases from. state retirement when they get there. ”

However, the research also pointed out that more than a quarter of people aged 45 to 54 were also confused, which is concerning as their retirement plans should be more detailed at this point in life.

Over time, more and more people will receive more state pensions, as more and more people with longer work histories reach retirement age. However, not everyone will be able to accumulate the 35 years of National Insurance (NI) contributions needed for the full state pension, and any period of subcontracting will also have an impact on the amount received, so that people will always pass through the net.

Helen added: “If you don’t know what state pension to collect, it is essential to check it online. This is your opportunity to find out if there are any gaps and take control of your retirement planning.

Five ways to increase your state pension before you retire

Helen Morrissey shares her top tips to help you check your finances before and after you retire.

Consult your state pension forecast

Go online and check your state pension entitlements on the “Check your state pension forecast” page on the GOV.UK website here. It will also tell you your state retirement age – when you can officially retire and receive the DWP benefit.

Apply for family allowances

Women in particular lack valuable state pension credits when they are at home caring for children. However, if they apply for family allowances, they will receive NI credits which count towards their state pension. Many women have not taken advantage of it in the past because their husbands have claimed child benefit rather than themselves.

Others missed out on withdrawing from family allowances after the introduction of the tax on family allowances for high incomes. If you apply for child benefit on your own behalf, you will get the NI credit for your state pension.

Credit specified for adult child care

Are you under retirement age and looking after a family member under the age of 12 while the parent or caregiver returns to work? If so, you may be eligible for NI credits under the specified adult child care credit because the working parent is essentially transferring their NI credit to you.

There are other situations in which you receive benefits and you can still claim NI credits. For example, if you are on sick leave due to statutory illness. It’s always worth checking out if you can qualify.

Buy national insurance credits

If you can save money, you can fill the gaps in your NI record by purchasing NI Class 3 Voluntary Contributions. Buying a full extra year will cost £ 800, and you can usually backdate claims for six years.

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Claiming a pension credit

It’s something the DWP is pushing over a million retirees to demand as they lack crucial financial support and additional benefits – read more about it here.

If you are past retirement age and have low income, you should check if you are eligible for the pension credit.

The pension credit supplements your weekly income to £ 177.10 if you are single and to £ 270.30 of joint income if you have a partner.

It may also entitle you to other advantages such as assistance with the payment of the housing tax and a free TV license for those over 75 years old.

Although having the capacity to really increase the incomes of the poorest retirees, the use of this benefit remains low with only about 60% of beneficiaries claiming it.

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