The State Pension is a valuable source of guaranteed income, so understanding more about it can really help with your retirement plans. Here are some key facts about the State Pension:
State Pension Age (SPA)
SPA will be age 66 for everyone from October 2020. However there are further proposals to increase the State Pension Age:
- to 67 in 2028, which will affect anyone born after 6th April 1960; and
- to age 68 in 2046, which will affecr anyone born after 6th April 1977.
These increases may be introduced earlier. You can see the timetable for SPA changes and identify when you will receive your State Pension.
Qualifying for the State Pension
To receive any State Pension you need to have at least 10 qualifying years of making National Insurance Contributions and 35 years of National Insurance contributions or credits to receive the full State Pension.
How much will I get?
The State Pension in tax year 2019/20 is £168.60 each week. If you made National Insurance Contributions before 2016, when the ‘single tier state pension’ was introduced, then you could have a higher protected amount or your State Pension may be lower if you were ‘contracted-out’ where some of your National Insurance Contributions are diverted into a private pension plan.
You can get a State Pension forecast at www.yourpension.gov.uk
How do I apply for the State Pension?
You can claim the State Pension online at www.gov.uk/claim-state-pension-online although you should receive an invitation letter two months before you are due to receive your State Pension.
Does the State Pension increase each year?
The State Pension has a triple lock guarantee which means that it increases each year by the higher of the average increase in wages, inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), or a flat rate of 2.5%. State Pension payments are expected to rise by 3.9% from April 2020, due to an increase in average earnings, which is significantly above the rate of inflation.
Can I boost my State Pension?
If you are already receiving your State Pension you will receive the annual increases automatically in line with the triple lock guarantee. If you are not yet at State Pension Age then you can make additional Class 3 National Insurance Contributions to increase your number of qualifying years, up to the maximum required of 35 years.
What National Insurance contributions count towards my State Pension entitlement?
Your State Pension entitlement will be based on Class 1 contributions (for employees) Class 2 contributions (for Self-employed) and any additional Class 3 contributions you have made to boost your entitlement voluntarily. You should also remember that you may be entitled to National Insurance credits as a carer, or due to periods of unemployment or sickness or where a relevant benefit was paid to you. You can see your full record online at www.yourpension.gov.uk
Can I delay taking my State Pension?
If you choose to delay your State Pension start date, your State Pension payments will be increased, depending on how long you wish to delay the start date. Whilst deferral rates have recently reduced, it is still an option which may suit some people. By deferring for 52 weeks, you’ll get an extra £9.74 a week (just under 5.8% increase on the State Pension of £168.60), but since 2016 you cannot take the deferral as a lump sum.
What happens if my spouse or civil partner dies?
Since April 2016, when the new State Pension was introduced, you cannot inherit from a spouse or civil partner. Each person has an individual State Pension entitlement which will provide pension payments until the date of death.
What happens if I started receiving the State Pension before April 2016?
These payments will continue unchanged, but they will continue to benefit from annual increases in payment.
You can find out more about the State Pension online at www.yourpension.gov.uk and you can also contact your previous employers or product providers to find any other private pension benefits which you may be entitled to.
If you are unable to contact previous employers, you can use the Government Pension Tracing Service at https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details
Your Origen adviser can help you gather information on your pensions and advise you how to manage your retirement income efficiently, adjusting your financial plans so your investments work as hard as possible for you and to help you achieve your objectives.