The State Pension can offer financial support during retirement and the payments will be particularly valued by those who have left the workforce. However, what is important to note when it comes to the state pension is how much a person will receive as this is not guaranteed. State pension payments often hinge on National Insurance contributions which are made throughout a person’s lifetime.
But if a person fails to make enough contributions, they could be left with a smaller state pension pot, or even no state pension at all.
Thankfully, the government has outlined the National Insurance contributions which are necessary for a certain level of state pension.
Currently, the full state pension sum stands at £175.20 per week, and will increase to £176.80 in 2021/22.
But only certain individuals will be able to claim this full state pension amount due to government rules.
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This, for instance, can be gained through Child Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Carer’s Allowance.
It is also worth noting a person could get less than the full state pension sum if they were contracted out before April 6, 2016.
But fortunately, a lack of National Insurance contributions is not the end of the road for securing a full state pension sum.
Some Britons may choose to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions if they wish to increase their state pension sum.
Voluntary contributions, however, do not always increase a state pension and for this reason it is important to think about next steps.
People can contact the Future Pension Centre to find out if they will benefit from paying voluntary National Insurance contributions.
However, individuals may also wish to get financial advice before deciding on voluntary contributions for the state pension.
Perhaps the most important consideration, though, is knowing what one’s state pension record looks like.
This can be achieved through the state pension forecast tool, designed to tell Britons how much state pension they can get, when they can get it, and how to increase the sum if possible.
The service can be used online by those who are not currently receiving a state pension, and those who have not deferred it.
If one of those instances do apply, though, Britons can contact the Pension Service in the UK, or the International Pension Centre if living abroad.
In addition, if people do not wish to use the online service, there are alternative options to find out more about the state pension.
Individuals can fill in the BR19 application form and send it by post, or call the Future Pension Centre who will post the forecast to them.