Well, there’s good news and bad news and more good news on the state pension front. The good news is that the UK government is finally accepting applications to access their ATM, and has sort of finally updated the pension calculator on their website . When I say sort of that’s because they will send you an estimate of your pension under the current rules including any additional state pension. This is important because it is the minimum you will get under the new rules. They will also send you an estimate of your pension under the new rules, so adjusted for contracted out etc.
The bad news is that if you were born before 5th August 1955 or you live abroad you can’t use the online model. However the more good news is that you can either apply by post or even better call them. I called this morning and there was no waiting. They say it takes about 10 working days, but that they currently have a lot of requests at the moment (I wonder why ) so it may be a little longer. Also bear in mind that the likely delay because of the way the government routes its overseas mail.
As I have already posted in a previous blog it is essential that you work out whether it is worth buying any extra additional years to make up your pension. It is still, in my opinion a worthwhile investment, with one of the best returns you will ever get anywhere. Let me explain:
If you are short of contribution years (currently 30 but going up to 35 under the new scheme) you can currently buy an extra year for 2014/2015 for a payment of £722.80. You can also buy previous years, some of which are slightly cheaper. If you are a man born after 5th April 1951 or a woman born after 5th April 1953 you have until 5th April 2023 to pay voluntary contributions for gaps between April 2006 and April 2017, but note the amount you pay will go up from 5th April 2019. So, let’s say you are due to draw your pension in March 2020 and you have 34 years contributions. The cost to buy a year for 2014/5 is £722.80. In return when you draw your pension you will get 1/35th of the state pension each week , so about £4.24 a week. So within about 3.5 years you will have got back all the money you paid, and will still be paid the same amount each week. That must be a good investment.
So, when you receive your estimate, make sure you work out how to maximise your return.
If you want to call them its
Telephone +44 (0)191 218 3600
Textphone: +44 (0)191 218 2051
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
If you enjoyed this blog, it was written by me Philip Carroll; if not then it’s probably written by Myra in my name.
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