Changes to the State Pension

The State Pension is still a fundamental part of peoples’ retirement plans. Over the last two years a number of changes to the basic State Pension have been announced. These include:

• increasing the basic State Pension in line with earnings, rather than prices, which means it should rise more quickly each year than it does now. This change will happen from 2012 at the earliest and by 2015 at the latest and will also apply to people currently getting their State Pension or who reach State Pension age before 6 April 2010;

• both paid and credited National Insurance Contributions (NIC) will count towards the basic State Pension in the same way; 

• reducing the number of qualifying years needed for a full basic State Pension to 30 for people who will reach State retirement age on or after 6 April 2010; 

• any number of qualifying years will give an entitlement to at least some basic State Pension;

 

• replacing the system of Home Responsibilities Protection with a weekly NI credit for people caring for children or severely disabled people and converting past years of HRP into years of credits.

• changing the way the State Second Pension (S2P) builds up, so that it will provide a simple, flat-rate weekly top-up to the basic State Pension; and 

• increasing the State Pension age for both men and women from 65 to 68 in stages between 2024 and 2046. 

It is not unknown for errors to occur due to difficulties linking national insurance contributions with pension records. However, there is any easy way to check your current pension entitlement – ask for a pension forecast. If you would like to know more about the changes or ask for a forecast, visit www. pensionsservice.gov.uk

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