State pension: Britons urged to check National Insurance record – do you have enough? | Personal Finance | Finance


State Pension payments provide important support to individuals who have departed the workforce for retirement. In many instances, retirees will be totally reliant upon their state pension to help them financially during later years of life. For this reason, then, it is especially important to understand how much a state pension could provide.

This issue was touched upon by Pete Matthew, financial expert, in his podcast, Meaningful Money.

He explained: “The bedrock for most people’s retirement will be the state pension, and I just don’t have a lot of time for people who say it won’t be around – I see no reason why it won’t be.

“For a couple, the state pension is just shy of £18,000 a year, or £1,500 a month – obviously half of that for a single person.

“While I wouldn’t want to be totally reliant on that, it is a good start for a baseline income, you must admit.

“But how much will you get? The easiest way to find out is to ask the source – Her Majesty’s Government via the Government website.”

While a state pension forecast is available online, the Government realises this may not be the best solution for everyone.

As a result, others ways to apply include filling in the BR19 application form, or calling the Future Pension Centre to get the information sent in the post.

While a state pension forecast tells Britons how much they are set to receive, it also offers details on when someone can expect to retire.

Nevertheless, it is worth bearing in mind the state pension age is under constant review, and so the age at which a person expects to retire could well change. 

Finally, there are likely to be details about being contracted out, something which could impact the state pension a person receives.

Mr Matthews concluded: “Back in the day, you could redirect a bit of your National Insurance contribution into a private pension or occupational pension.

“If you did that, you might get less than the full state pension, but the theory is that to some degree, the shortfall will be made up in the pensions you have. Whether that works in practice is yet to be seen.”

The Government has said individuals may get less than the new full state pension if contracted out before April 6, 2016.

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