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Ten top facts about the new State Pension

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith
Posted:
Updated:
13/04/2016

The biggest shake-up to the State Pension since it was created more than a century ago has now come into effect. The government has scrapped the two tier system and replaced it with a new flat rate worth £155.65 a week.

But not everyone will get the full new State Pension as it depends on whether you’ve paid full rate National Insurance Contributions for 35 years.  Fore more see – New State Pension: who wins and who loses?

To help you get to grips with the pretty complicated rules, Kate Smith of Aegon UK shares her top ten facts about the new State Pension:

Ten Top Facts

1.    You cannot receive your New State Pension before your State Pension Age. Check your State Pension Age by using the online tool on the Gov.UK website https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-age/y/age
* By November 2018 State Pension Ages equalise at age 65 for men and women.
* By October 2020 State Pension Age increases to age 66.

2. You have to claim your New State Pension, you won’t get it automatically.
*  You will be sent a letter 4 months before your State Pension Age telling you how to claim your New State Pension.
*  If you haven’t heard by 3 months before your State Pension Age, ring 0800 731 7898 or go online at https://www.gov.uk/claim-state-pension-online.

3. Check your UK National Insurance Contributions record.
*  You need 10 qualifying years to get any new State Pension.
*  You need 35 years paying the full rate to get the full New State Pension.
*  You can get a record of your National Insurance Contributions from HMRC.

4. Ask for a New State Pension statement.
*  If you are aged 50 or over you can request a New State Pension statement.
*  Ring 0345 3000 168 or go online to the Gov.UK website.

5. If you have gaps in your National Insurance Contributions record, think about paying voluntary National insurance Contributions to achieve the minimum of 10 qualifying years or to maximise your New State Pension. You need to do this before your State Pension Age.
*  National Insurance credits as a parent carer, for unemployment and sickness count towards the new State Pension.

6. You may have been contracted out of the earnings related part of the previous State pension system if you’ve been in a workplace pension or saved in a personal pension, and paid lower National Insurance Contributions.
*  This means you won’t get the full New State Pension, but your private pension will be increased.
*  Most earnings related pension schemes, including public sector and local authority schemes were contracted out.

7. You can’t inherit your spouse’s or civil partner’s New State Pension. In some circumstances you may be able to inherit an extra State pension if you’re widowed.

8. If you get divorced you will still keep your New State Pension but you may lose or gain an extra State Pension.

9. You can increase your New State Pension if you defer payment by at least nine weeks.
* Your State pension increases by 1% for every 9 weeks deferred.
*  That’s 5.8% for a full year.

10. If you are self-employed you will also be entitled to the New State Pension based on your Class 2 National Insurance Contributions record.