‘Not everyone gets the full amount!’ Everything you must know about the UK state pension

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Retirement expert advises people to learn about state pensions

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Tim Leonard, a personal finance expert at leading financial comparison website NerdWallet, has shared his insight. Speaking to Express.co.uk, he shed some light on some of the most important things everyone needs to know about their state pension.

When can you get the state pension?

“The Government should write to you before you reach the state pension age and invite you to make a claim,” he said.

“This prompt to claim your state pension usually takes place no later than two months before you are eligible.

“The state pension age is currently 66, but this is gradually increasing and depends on when you were born. By 2028, the state pension age will be 67, subject to a Government review.”

The state pension age is set to rise again by 2046, up to age 68.

How much state pension is a person entitled to?

Mr Leonard explained: “As of 2021/22, the full new state pension works out at £179.60 a week. This is a little over £9,000 a year.

“However, not everyone will get the full amount – for example, if you haven’t paid enough National Insurance contributions.”

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Britons may need 35 years of National Insurance contributions to get the full new state pension, and they need 10 years to get anything at all.

Anyone who is concerned they have not earned enough National Insurance qualifying years may be able to improve their record by claiming National Insurance credits through certain benefits.

Alternatively, they may be able to pay voluntary contributions.

He continued: “It’s also worth taking into account the suspension of the pension triple lock, which determines how much the state pension rises each year, as this will impact on the growth of your state pension.”

The state pension will increase by 3.1 percent this year, taking the full new state pension to £185.15.

Mr Leonard added: “You can check the Government’s state pension forecast tool to see how much you will get from your state pension, but remember that the overall amount you receive in retirement will also depend on other income sources and savings.”

How to improve state pension amount

Mr Leonard explained that although the state pension will be an important contribution to most people’s income in retirement, on its own it is unlikely to pay enough to maintain the standard of living someone has been accustomed to during their working life.

He therefore stressed the importance of people making the conscious choice to save for their retirement to supplement the state pension they will get.

“The best way to try and make sure you’ll have a comfortable retirement is to save early on while you are working,” he said.

“If you can combine personal savings with your state pension, you’ll hopefully have a healthier level of income to rely on in retirement.

“There are many ways to save for retirement but one of the most common is via a personal pension.”

Mr Leonard concluded: “You can use savings built up in a personal pension to top up the amount you will receive from your state pension and increase the income you receive in retirement.”

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