State pension: You may get less than you think – how to check your DWP sum

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Retirement expert advises people to learn about their state pension

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The state pension is overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), responsible for ensuring everyone gets the correct sum. This corresponds to the amount of National Insurance (NI) contributions a person has made throughout their lifetime. To ensure a person is getting the full amount to which they are entitled, it may be important to check.

Thankfully, there is a fairly easy and straightforward way to do so, which involves just a few clicks.

Experts and the Government regularly point Britons towards the state pension forecast.

This tool can help individuals see what entitlement they currently have for the state pension.

It is likely to provide a full picture of where a person is on their state pension journey, and the steps they can take if they are not happy. 

The forecast tool, available on the Government’s website, will show a number of factors.

Firstly, it will indicate what a person has currently accrued when it comes to their state pension.

Usually, to get any state pension at all, a person needs at least 10 qualifying years of National Insurance.

For the full sum, which many people aspire to, at least 35 years are usually required.

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Some individuals may have less than they thought, and therefore might have to consider their options for retirement.

Certain people will choose to work for longer, while others will simply adjust their expectations for later life. 

The forecast will also indicate what a person is due to get, assuming they have any future years to work between now and their state pension age.

The forecast service also allows Britons to see whether they could potentially increase their state pension sum.

However, the online forecast is not the only way for Britons to check their state pension entitlement.

While applying online is described as the “quickest way” to find out, other options are available.

If a person is reaching their state pension age in more than 30 days they can also:

  • Fill in the BR19 application form and send this off by post
  • Call the Future Pensions Centre who will post out the forecast to the individual concerned

What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea

However, it is worth noting some individuals will not be able to make use of the forecast service.

The Government explains: “You cannot use this service if you’re already getting your state pension or if you’ve delayed (‘deferred’) claiming it.”

These individuals can contact the Pension Service if living in the UK, or the International Pension Centre if living abroad, to find out more information. 

Do you want to share your story with Express Money? Get in touch by emailing personal.finance@reachplc.com. Unfortunately we cannot respond to every email.

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