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
Benton Park View
Newcastle upon Tyne
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.