STATE PENSIONS can be increased year on year according to expert, Sally West, who explained how claimants can get the most out of basic state pension.
The basic state pension is £168.60 a week but can be increased if a claimant fills in the gaps on their contribution record or defers their claim. The state pension age for men and women is currently 65 but will increase to 66 by October 2020. But deferring from a state pension can earn claimants an extra 5.8 percent a year on the basic rate.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Age UK policy expert, Sally West said: “There may be occasions where you’ve got recent gaps in your contribution record.
“For example, perhaps you had an occupational pension but you stopped working before state pension age and you’ve not building up a record.
“It may be possible to fill up those gaps.
“You need to check, you need to work out if there is gaps. If so, how much it would cost to fill those, whether you can and whether you feel its worth it.
“Another thing that people can do, if for example they’re still working after state pension age, they can put off claiming the pension which is called deferring.
“If for example you have to defer for at least nine weeks.
“For every full years that you defer you would get about 5.8 percent extra on your pension.
“If you can manage without your pension and perhaps because you’re in work, you can choose not to draw it and then you will get a higher pension going forward.”
From April 2020 the state pension will increase by 3.9 percent, which is inline with the earnings growth recorded in 2019.
This will see basic state pension rise to £134.25 per week, with pensioners qualifying of the full rate seeing an increase to just over £175 a week.
Due to cost and perceived over-generosity, the triple lock system is often debated and there have been attempts to end it entirely.
Regardless of what happens with the triple lock system, pensioners have multiple methods of increasing what they’ll receive.
Gaps in National Insurance records can happen for a number of reasons, including if the person is living abroad or earned limited amounts.
Usually, gaps from the previous six years can be topped up but sometimes it is possible to pay for gaps from more than six years if certain age requirements are met.
For those who are eligible, voluntary top ups will be done through either class two or class three contributions.
However, it should be noted that not all voluntary contributions lead to increases in state pension. To find out exactly what contributions will increase state pension payments the Future Pension Centre should be contacted.