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More than a million view state pension forecast: check yours now

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
More than 1.5 million personal state pension forecasts have been issued in the six months after the introduction of the new single tier pension scheme. Here's why it's important to check yours now.

On 6 April 2016, the biggest overhaul to the state pension in a century took effect with the introduction of the new state pension, a flat, or single tier rate giving retirees £155.65 per week.

To qualify for the new state pension, individuals need at least 10 years of National Insurance Contributions, and to receive the full amount, they need 35 qualifying years which means there are some winners and losers of the scheme.

In the six months since its launch, more than 1.5 million people have used the ‘Check your state pension’ tool to get a forecast of how much pension they’ll get at state pension age.

It also tells users if there are any gaps in their National Insurance record and whether they can pay voluntary contributions to fill the gaps.

Check your forecast now

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, said the most important thing you can do is to find out your pension forecast sooner so you still have time to act.

“The state pension changed dramatically in April this year, and there’s been a concerted push to get the news out to those most affected. Yes there have been winners and losers, but there’s no denying the spotlight on pensions has been good for engagement. It’s wonderful to see that over 2% of the UK population have checked their state pension forecast in the last six months, a massive uplift, and a trend we hope will continue.

“Everyone has a different National Insurance history, so it’s vital that people know early on if there are gaps that need filling. Some may be disappointed, while others are pleasantly surprised, but the important thing is finding out where you stand while you still have time to act.”

Anyone can use the online service

Currently, those approaching retirement don’t get a pension statement sent to them automatically, but for those aged 50 or over, you will have to apply to get one sent, but anyone can use the online service.

The Department for Work and Pensions said 80% of forecasts were viewed online, highlighting that people are “welcoming the opportunity to access key information about their pension quickly and in real time”.

In the previous 12 month period before the introduction of the new state pension, 860,000 forecasts were issued.

Pensions minister, Richard Harrington, said he wants more people to plan early for retirement and take more control over their finances.

“I want to encourage everyone to use this online service to help them make informed decisions about their retirement, and I’m delighted that so many savvy savers are already doing this.”

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