Friday, 1 February 2013

Now for some information for those in the UK

In the 'good old days', when you wanted a pension forecast, you had to send away for one, now you can do it on-line. If you go to this site here you can register to obtain a Pension forecast on-line and within a few minutes once registered.

Once upon a time you needed 39 qualifying years to get a full pension, then it dropped to 30. I had thought I had recently received a letter stating I had the 30 but couldn't find it anywhere. Imagine my shock then when I used this service (having registered a while ago) and within a few short minutes, had been informed I only had 26! Maybe the lost letter stated I fell into the new category - never usually misplace important letters, they are filed away once read.

Although that would give me a pension, if falls short of the full pension. Also, I don't know about you, but I have no idea whether I still only need 30 or the new 35 qualifying years as mentioned in government changes a few weeks ago.

If you don't know what your pension will be, I suggest you check. Voluntary Class 2 payments can only be backdated for 6 years. As I am still in a quandary regarding my position, I have been in touch with HM Revenue and requested a statement of my National Insurance Account so I can see where the gaps are.

Although you can do this online, I needed to produce forms which I don't appear to have and for that reason, have chosen to write to them. If you decide to write, you need to provide them with the following information:

Your National Insurance Number
Date of birth
First, middle and last name
Current address plus previous address if needed
The tax years that you need to see such as 2002-03 plus 2005-6 etc
Why you want a statement of account (a brief explanation will do)
A daytime telephone contact number including area code. 

You then send that information off to this address:

H.M. Revenue & Customs
Individuals Caseworker
Benton Park View
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1ZZ 

Hopefully I'll get an informative letter back in the not too distant future. If I need to start paying, then the sooner the better, especially if I have to go up to the 35 year mark! 

I could kick myself really as I was self employed for 7 years and could have paid the very much cheaper contribution. However as I wasn't earning enough to warrant paying it, opted out. How short sighted I was!

On a different tack altogether, remember my chicken challenge. Last night we had the final 8th meal, chicken and mushroom risotto. 


12 comments:

  1. You have my sympathy! I have discovered this week that I JUST (and only just) qualify to need the new 35 years. I had qualified to have a full state pension under the old system and this week I have found out that I no longer qualify. Grrrrr. They did tell me that I can pay the national insurance of £800 and something which they don't know yet (they'll know exact figures in April for next tax year) for future years until I've made up the shortfall. Thanks very much to the government and the pension people. I thought I'd paid enough but suddenly I haven't. It was a bit of a shock to the system, as you can imagine since you are in the same boat.

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    1. Right royal pain in the ass isn't it. Do you know then, the cut off date as I can't fathom it out?

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  2. I bought a few back years, then they reduced qualifying number and I found I needn't have bought those years. My sister has been caught in the double whammy of having to work longer (expected to retire at 60 after working for 43 years) before can receive state pension and will not get the new increased pension.
    Goalposts are flexible to say the least.
    Carol xx

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    1. Yep, a right royal pain and annoyance, especially when you either think you have qualified and haven't (me) or bought some and didn't need to or like your sister, caught in-between.

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  3. I too was self employed for 15 years and due to low earnings was exempt from contributions, I must have been a little naive too as no one told me it would affect my pension. I was about to pay up a lump sum when the pension age for me was increased to 65 and again to 66, so after great discussions I have decided not to pay any more money and am currently 7 years short. We are managing on hubby's private pension now so will feel quite well off when we both get our state pension, hubby in 3 1/2 years and me a staggering 8 years!! All the more reason to be frugal :-)

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    1. I am in a similar predicament to you. Yes, I would be entitled to £93 per week but the full amount would be £144. That is quite a difference. We live on DB's private pension plus his government one (an absolute Godsend when that kicked in as we were getting a little desperate). However, looking ahead, what happens if something happens to DB, would you still get something or be reliant solely on the government one?

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  4. I'm certain that I'll only get a basic pension. Since K was born nearly 25 years ago I've worked part-time or not at all, and for several of those years didn't earn enough to pay NI contributions. J registered a while ago, but they took the service offline for a while as all the changes to pension age etc were being made. I'll have to dig out his paperwork and check what he'll be entitled to. Whatever we get we'll feel better off than we do now as our income will be at a similar level, but the mortgage will have been paid off.

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    1. From what I can gather, to get any pension at all, a person needs to have contributed a minimum of 10 years. Luckily for us women, we get at least 12 years or so per child home responsibility protection (old name I know). It seems in some ways that you are better off being self employed as the stamp for that is very cheap compared to the voluntary class 2 one.

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  5. When I retired at 55 and checked my forecast I had not quite got the amount of years I needed. I paid the shortfall and although I begrudged paying it I must admit my pension at 60 was much more than I'd expected and was worth every penny I'd paid.
    Patricia x

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    1. Yep, that is what I am thinking due to the reasoning on my replies to Scarlet and Karen above.

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  6. I fell short too and my pension is meagre, fortunately my husband still works - once he stops though my frugal spending will come into its own.

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    1. Check out today's post Elaine, don't know though if it will apply to you.

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