News & Blog

 

Much has been written in the press about the new flat rate state pension. This only applies to:

• Men born on or after 6 April 1951

• Women born on or after 6 April 1953

Thus, pensioners who reached pension age on or after 6 April 2016 are already on the new scheme.

The flat rate has initially been set at £155.65 but few new pensioners will be receiving this sum.

 

Why is this?

There are several reasons why the actual sum received is different to the flat rate but the main ones are:

• If you had been “contracted out” of the state pension scheme via an employment pension

• Whether you had additional entitlement under the old scheme

• Whether you have the appropriate number of contribution years (currently 35)

 

What should I do?

If you are approaching retirement age or if you are unsure of your contribution record, you can apply for a state pension forecast on line or by downloading the appropriate form from the HMRC website. By answering a few simple questions, you can receive an indication of your eventual entitlement.

If you have gaps in your National Insurance record, you may still be able to qualify for a full state pension by making voluntary contributions to cover those gaps. A state pension forecast will highlight any problems.

Alternatively, the completion of a pension forecast is one of the many areas in which Thomas Westcott can assist. If you would like further information on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact your local office.