State Pension: An important form of income for many during retirement

The new State Pension payments are an important form of income for many during retirement. You can claim the new State Pension at State Pension age if you have at least ten years’ National Insurance contributions and are a man born on or after 6 April 1951, or a woman born on or after 6 April 1953. The earliest you can receive the basic State Pension is when you reach State Pension age.

The full level you can receive under the new State Pension is £175.20 a week (£9,110.40 a year) in 2020/21, but this depends on your National Insurance (NI) record. If you have 35 years or more of NI contributions, you will get the full amount; between 10 and 34 years of contributions, you will receive a proportion of the pension; and less than ten years of NI contributions, you aren’t eligible for the new State Pension.

People can receive less than the full flat rate State Pension when their NI record is incomplete or they have paid less than the 35 qualifying years required under the new rules (usually through periods of contracting out).

The State Pension is the foundation of most people’s retirement plans, and yet this data shows more than half of those eligible to claim the State Pension under the new flat-rate system receive less than the full amount. Given the various changes that have been introduced over the years, it’s not surprising people find the whole system difficult to understand.


State Pension tips

Spend the longest time on preparing for retirement

The State Pension can be a minefield. And remember, it is only really there to provide a basic  standard of living when you retire. Of all the life events to plan for, you should spend the  longest time on preparing for retirement. If you’re in your 50s or early 60s, you may increasingly be thinking more about retirement and how to plan for it. One of the most common dilemmas for people of this age is how best to fund their lifestyle once they’ve stopped work and maintain their preretirement standard of living.

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