Martin Lewis discusses state pension underpayments
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State Pension age is the time at which a person will become eligible to receive payments from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). As such it is likely many will wish to work out their state pension age ahead of time to ensure they are prepared. The amount of state pension a person receives is dependent upon how many National Insurance contributions they have put forward throughout their lifetime.
To get any state pension at all, individuals usually need at least 10 years of National Insurance contributions, although these do not need to be consecutive.
The Government, however, says Britons must note they could get less than the full state pension if they were contracted out before April 6, 2016.
In the past, the state pension age was set at different points depending on whether a person was male or female.
The state pension age for women was traditionally 60, while for men the age was set at 65.
However, there have been several changes brought in under the Pensions Act of 1995, which were then accelerated by the Pensions Act of 2011.
As such, what is known as state pension age parity was reached towards the end of 2018.
This meant both men and women could expect to retire at the age of 65 and receive their state pension.
Nonetheless, this was not the end of changes, with the Government taking additional steps to increase the state pension age.
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As of October 2020, Britons can expect their state pension age to be set at 66 whether they are male or female.
However, further changes are afoot, brought in by the Pensions Act of 2014, meaning the state pension age is set to increase once again from 66 to 67.
It is thought this change will be gradually phased in, taking place between 2026 and 2028.
With seemingly semi-regular changes to the state pension age, some Britons may find it hard to keep up.
Indeed, many will be focused on their own circumstances and how these changes will affect them.
Thankfully, the Government has considered this fact, and developed a useful tool to help understand the state pension.
Individuals will be able to check their state pension forecast ahead of their retirement to see when they are set to hit the eligible age.
In addition, the service can inform Britons of how much state pension they could get, and even how to increase it if possible.
People will be able to do so through the Government’s online tool, however, there are also other ways to apply.
If a person will reach their state pension age in more than 30 days, they can also fill in what is known as a BR19 application form to send by post.
They can also put in a call to the Future Pensions Centre who will post the forecast out to them.
It is worth noting, however, the service cannot be used in certain circumstances.
The Government website explains: “You cannot use this service if you’re already getting your state pension or if you’ve delayed claiming it.”
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