Everyone in the UK is entitled to a State Pension once they have reached a certain age. The purpose of this pension is to make sure that everyone has as a secure source of income that will help support them through their old age. This state pension is funded through National Insurance contributions. Everyone is eligible for the state pension on one condition – that they have made National Insurance (NI) contributions for most of their working life.
While in some senses, it is a simple system, there are several varying factors which need to be taken into account. In this article, we will look at these factors and how they might affect an individual’s ability to claim the state pension. In particular, we will look at how many years of National Insurance contributions you will need to have paid before you are eligible to claim your full state pension. We will also look at the recent changes in the state pension and breakdown how that might affect a person’s claim.
The New State Pension
Before we go any further, it’s important to note that there were some significant changes to the state pension system in recent years. Most notably, the new state pension which was introduced in April 2016. For anyone who reached the pension age before April 6th 2016, they will still be eligible for the state pension based on the old rules.
In everything discussed below, we will be taking both systems into account. This way, we will have a comprehensive overview of the state pension and precisely the amount of National Insurance contributions which will be necessary to claim it.
Qualifying for State Pension
Qualifying for a full state pension is dependent on several factors. These can be simplified down into three categories.
The first is when you were born, the second is your gender, and the third is how long you have been making National Insurance contributions for.
Let us take it further, more in-depth look at the exact criteria a person must meet to claim their full state pension. This will mainly include when the individual was born and how much National Insurance they have contributed over the years.
As mentioned above, we will be taking into account the most recent changes in the state pension rules. However, as we will see below, there are some reasons why an individual might still claim the state pension under the old rules.
- Born Before April 6th 1950
These women are eligible for the full basic state pension, which is £134.25 per week. This is contingent on having paid 39 years worth of National Insurance contributions. However, if they have paid at least 10 years, they will still be eligible for a state pension, but it will be less than the full amount.
- Born After April 5th 1950 and Before April 6th 1953
Women that fall into this category will also be eligible for the full basic state pension which is £134.25 per week. This time they will have needed to have made 30 years worth of National Insurance contributions to get that full amount. They can also have at least one year of contributions and still receive the state pension, however once again it will be less than the full amount.
- Born After April 5th 1953
Women in this category will receive the new state pension, which was introduced in April 2016. This amounts to £175.20 per week. They will need to have had 35 years of National Insurance contributions to get the full amount. However, if they have at least ten years of contributions made, then they can still receive the state pension at a reduced rate.
- Born Before April 6th 1945
For men born before this date, they are eligible for the full basic state pension which is £134.25 per week. They will need to have made 44 years of National Insurance contributions to get this. However, they will still receive a pension if they have at least 11 years on record; however, it will be less than the full pension amount.
- Born After April 5th 1945 and Before April 6th 1951
For men that fall into this category, they are also eligible for the full basic state pension which is £134.25 per week. They will need 30 years worth of National Insurance contributions on record to get this amount. However, they can have at least one year of these contributions made to receive a pension at a reduced rate still.
- Born After April 5th 1951
Men born after this date are now eligible for the new state pension. This new basic state pension amounts to £175.20 per week. They will need to have made 35 years of National Insurance contributions to get the full amount. However, if they have at least ten years of contributions made, then they will still receive a state pension, but less than the full amount.
National Insurance Credits
Eligibility for the state pension is not only based on National Insurance contributions made over the years. It can also be based on the number of National Insurance credits that a person has built up over time.
These National Insurance credits can count towards your state pension. They are earned in several ways. These can include:
- Receiving state benefits
- Being aged between 16 and 18 before April of 2010
- Being part of a training course that is registered as being able to offer NI credits
- If your legal partner is a member of the Armed Forces and you have joined them overseas as part of their official assignment
- Taking part in jury service
What if you do not have enough years of NI contributions to get a pension?
It can sometimes be the case that people reach the age of qualification for a basic state pension and realise that they do not have enough years of National Insurance contributions made in order to claim. Luckily, there is a solution to this.
The government has a system in place designed to enable individuals to make voluntary contributions of their National Insurance. This system can help those without enough years of contributions already made to claim the state pension. It allows those people to make voluntary payments to top up the amount of National Insurance they have paid so that they can reach the threshold so they may still claim the full state pension if they so desire.
Working out your state pension NI payments does not need to be hard!
It can seem daunting to work out exactly what requirements must be met before you can claim your state pension. While it is true that there are numerous criteria that you must meet before you can claim, the process does not need to be as complicated as it first may seem.
As we have seen, there have also been some significant changes to the state pension in recent years. These changes have affected not only the criteria that you must meet but also the amount of money that you will receive per week. Again, however, this does not mean that the process has to be a complicated one.
To help keep the process as simple and as hassle-free as possible, keep in mind these rules of thumb when working out when you can claim your state pension.
Firstly, under the current state pension rules, you can claim your full state pension if you are either a man born on or after April 6th 1951, or a woman born on or after April 6th 1953.
Remember that if you reached the official state pension age before April 6th 2016, then the old pension rules will apply to you instead.
These are the simple facts that can act as a starting point from which you can quickly begin to work out whether you are eligible to begin claiming your full state pension and whether you have accumulated enough years of National Insurance payments.
With this article, we hope that you will be well on your way to know exactly whether you can claim your full state pension or if you have a little way yet to go. Remember, our expert employment law solicitors are always on hand to help with any issues or questions you might have. Contact us now at Qredible.co.uk to make use of their expert advice and information!
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