State Pensions

The UK State Pension is a regular payment from the government that most UK citizens can claim when they reach retirement age. In order to qualify for a UK State Pension, you’ll need to have made 35 years worth of National Insurance contributions to receive the full amount.

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What state pension do I get?

According to gov.uk (2019), the full new State Pension is £164.35 per week and what you’ll receive is based on your National Insurance record.

You can check your National Insurance record here.

A key part of how your state pension is calculated is whether you made National Insurance Contributions (NICs) or got National Insurance credits before 6th April 2016.

To receive the full state pension you must have made 35 years of NICs. If you have a shortfall, the number of years you have made contributions will be taken into account when determining how much you get. There is a top-up scheme to allow you to make good any gaps in NICs.

Note that to receive any state pension at all, you need to have made at least ten years of NICs.

Check your own state pension on the official UK government website.

The good news for UK pensioners generally is that the state pension rises each year by a minimum of 2.5% (as long as the existing “triple lock” government ruling exists). The ‘triple lock’ ruling guarantees that the basic state pension will rise by a minimum of either 2.5%, the rate of inflation or average earnings growth, whichever is greatest.

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When to claim my UK state pension?

Two months before you are eligible for your state pension, you will be contacted by letter and invited to officially claim.

Ageuk.org.uk confirm that, “You can claim your pension online, over the phone or by post. You will need to provide your National Insurance number when you make a claim and you may need to provide evidence of your date of birth.”

But at what age will you be eligible to claim your pension?

As of November 2018, the State Pension age for women increased to 65, now at the same age as men. The state pension age is set for several more increases – by October 2020 the state pension age is set to rise to 66, increasing steadily to 67 by 2028. The raise in the state pension age to 68 is now due to be phased in between 2037 – 2039, rather than 2044 as originally proposed. This will affect those currently between the ages of 39 and 47.

You can check in which year you will be entitled to your own state pension on the official UK government State Pension Age Calculator. You will simply need to enter your date of birth and gender.

Remember, you can receive a state pension and still carry on working.

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Who to contact about my state pension?

If you have queries about your UK state pension, speak to your Financial Adviser.

Good financial planning means working with key aspects of your financial life such as your state pension – so your Financial Adviser will be fully aware of the issues involved. Together you will need to determine at which age you will reach eligibility for the state pension and factor that into your wider financial plan.

Otherwise:

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Will state pensions be affected by Brexit?

Eligibility will be unaffected, even for expats living in Europe: currently you can claim your UK state pension if you are living abroad, and this will not change as Brexit continues to play out.

The value of the UK state pension will be unaffected too: the “triple lock” ruling determines future value.

When it comes to its impact on workplace pensions, Brexit has made Defined Benefit Pension Transfers more attractive, with employers upping the Cash Equivalent Transfer Values on offer to get employees out of increasingly costly schemes.

Can the UK state pension be claimed early?

No. In a word!

The UK government states that the earliest you can get your State Pension is when you reach your State Pension age.

So, in 2018-2019, you cannot claim your UK state pension before you reach the age of 65.

State pension eligibility age is often confusing because with private – rather than state – pensions, you can cash in your pension pot (with various tax considerations) from the age of 55.

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