My head is no longer in the sand – I am going to get a state pension forecast. And so should you. Here’s why and how. Most women have fractured work records, often thanks to breaks from paid employment to care for children or elderly relatives. And this can mean that they won’t get the full state pension. You will need 35 years of National Insurance contributions to get the full payout of £159.55 a week (this is the new flat state pension which applies for those retiring after 6 April 2016).
According to the official government website, I will get my state pension in 2031 when I’m 67. I’ve been working since I was 22 but I think I may be lucky to get to 35 years of NI contributions. While I only took a few months off for maternity leave and I was still in employment then, I’ve a nagging feeling that much of my pension might have been contracted out from having to pay additional NI top ups. This was popular a few years ago when we were all about self-reliance and against relying on the state. Embarrassingly, I don’t know if I’m affected or not. I know one of my former employers’ schemes was contracted out but I transferred that pension over to another employer and I don’t know if that scheme was contracted in or out. I’m not sure yet whether if I have ‘holes’ in my NI contributions I will be able to patch them up (there were articles in the papers last week about how those already retired but not getting their state pensions yet could do so). But first, I need to find where I stand.
I think, if you are more competent than me, you could probably get a forecast online. But I’ve printed out form BR19 from the www.gov.uk/check-state-pension. It looks an easy enough form and apparently, I’ll get a forecast in around 10 days. I’ll let you know how it goes...
See the SMM guide to state pensions here.