State pension: Check if you could get larger sum and avoid retirement disappointment

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Expert on how to get the most from your state pension

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The full new state pension pays out up to £179.60 a week, but not everyone gets the full sum. Britons can check whether they could increase the amount of state pension they are entitled to.

This can be done through the state pension forecast tool.

The tool is available through the official Government website and is completely free to use.

It can provide various information about an individual’s state pension.

Britons can use the service to get an estimate of how much state pension they might get.

They can also find out whether it is possible for them to increase the amount they are set to receive.

In addition, the service can be used to check exactly when an individual is expected to start receiving their state pension.

The forecast tool cannot be used by people who are already getting their state pension or who have deferred receiving it after reaching state pension age.

Someone’s National Insurance record is a key factor in how much state pension they can get. To get the full new state pension, Britons may require 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions.

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To get any state pension whatsoever, 10 qualifying years are needed.

Britons can use the forecast tool to see if there are any gaps in their National Insurance record which need to be filled in order to be eligible for the full state pension.

If this is the case, they can then explore options to plug these gaps.

This may be done by claiming certain benefits with attached National Insurance credits or by paying voluntary contributions.

To use the online service, an individual must prove their identity.

They can do this by signing in with either the Government Gateway or GOV.UK Verify.

People will have a Government Gateway user ID if they have signed previously, such as to file a self assessment tax return online.

Someone will have a GOV.UK Verify account if they have proven their identity in the past with either Digidentity or Post Office.

Anyone who does not already have either of these credentials can simply create an account.

It is also possible to get a forecast without using the online service.

Britons can fill in a BR19 application form and send it to the Pension Service by post.

Alternatively, they can call the Future Pension Centre to get a forecast posted out.

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