State pension: Simple check shows if you’ll get the full sum in retirement

Expert on how to get the most from your state pension

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The new state pension is linked to people’s National Insurance records, with this impacting the amount they can get. A spotty record could mean someone gets a reduced state pension.

The amount of new state pension someone can get is based on their National Insurance record when they reach state pension age.

State pension age is currently 66.

It is set to rise to 67 by 2028 and again to 68 by 2046.

In order to get the full new state pension, an individual may need 35 qualifying years on their National Insurance record.

These years do not have to be consecutive.

However, they may still get less than the full sum if they were contracted out before April 6, 2016.

Someone usually needs to have 10 qualifying years on their record to get any new state pension at all.

Britons can check their National Insurance record through the website to see if they have any gaps.

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It is possible to have gaps in a National Insurance record and get the full new state pension, as long as an individual still has enough qualifying years overall.

But if someone finds they are not on course to get the full state pension yet, there are three ways they could improve their National Insurance record.

Qualifying years can be earned through work, and those who are working can earn qualifying years whether they are employed or self-employed.

Those who are employed must earn over £184 a week from one employer and pay National Insurance, which they should do automatically, to earn a qualifying year.

Self-employed people who pay National Insurance contributions can also earn qualifying years.

People who are not working can also improve their National Insurance record.

This can be done through certain benefits which have attached National Insurance credits.

These credits could add up to earn people who claim them qualifying years towards their state pension.

Claimants of the following benefits could get National Insurance credits:

  • Child Benefit for a child under 12 (or under 16 before 2010)
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance

Alternatively, people may improve their National Insurance record by paying voluntary contributions.

This could earn them more qualifying years and therefore entitle them to more state pension.

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