State pension: Expert discusses when payments are made
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There are many elements which can impact how much state pension someone will receive, and people can often be confused when trying to determine how much they are entitled to. To help make things clearer, a free online tool has been introduced to keep Britons informed.
The state pension forecast is an online Government tool which is designed to help people find out more information about their pension.
The service can be used to view how much state pension people can get, when they can receive it and even how to increase the amount they will get, if they can.
People can use the tool to get an estimate of how much their state pension payments will be once they reach state pension age, which is currently 66 in the UK.
They can also see the number of qualifying years they currently have on their National Insurance (NI) record.
This can be helpful as the number of qualifying years someone has will directly impact the amount of state pension they can receive.
Here is all the information Britons can find out about their pension by using the forecast tool:
- A state pension forecast for when a person is due to reach state pension age
- A state pension forecast as of the start of the last tax year
- A person’s NI record (which will also show any gaps and part years)
- A Contracted-Out Pension Equivalent estimate
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The service will also give users information about ways they could increase their state pension, if possible.
The ‘Check your state pension forecast’ tool can be accessed online via the Government Gateway.
However, people should be aware that in order to gain access, they require a Government Gateway account.
Anyone who does not already have an account need not worry, as they can still set one up using their National Insurance number.
If someone is unsure whether they already have an account or Government Gateway user ID, they will have one if they have previously signed up, which they may have done if they needed to file a self-assessment tax return online.
For those who do not want to use the online tool, but would still like to find out more information about their pension, a paper state pension forecast can be requested from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) instead.
People who are due to reach state pension age in more than 30 days can ask for a state pension forecast via phone or post.
This can be done by calling the Future Pension Centre, or completing a BR19 application form, which can be downloaded from GOV.UK, and sending it to the Future Pension Centre.
However, Britons are being urged to use the online service to access their information if they can.
It is important to note that people who are already receiving their state pension, or have deferred their state pension, cannot use the tool.
Although an estimate is given regarding the amount of state pension people are entitled to, it is not guaranteed to be 100 percent accurate, as the estimate is based on the current law, which means it could be subject to future changes.
Any potential changes in inflation are also not taken into account, which could also impact the amount of state pension people get.
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