Author: browneconomy

Human nature being as it is, we all like to think we’re going to live forever; and enjoy health, wealth and happiness! But a pension helps! What is YOUR pension worth? Why not invest 5 minutes of your time and find out!

OK:

You might have an employer’s scheme; defined benefit or defined contribution.

You might have a personal, private pension.

You might have an ‘alternative’ pension, for example ISAs, or property or even a stamp collection.

But what is YOUR state pension worth?

If you log onto the Government Gateway here.

Then you can obtain a forecast of exactly what YOU will be entitled to. I quote from this site:

“A State Pension forecast covers:

* the basic State Pension

* the additional State Pension (also called the State Second Pension and formerly known as the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS))

You'll be given:

* your current number of qualifying years (the number of years you've made or been credited with National Insurance contributions (NICs))

* an estimate of the current value of your State Pension

* a forecast of how much State Pension you may get at State Pension age, based on the current information about you and assumptions made about the further National Insurance contributions you may make or be credited with between the time the forecast is issued and when you reach State pension age

* information on how you may be able to improve your basic State Pension

* a forecast of how much you could get by putting off claiming your State Pension

* the effect on your additional State Pension if you are contracted out, either through a company (occupational) pension scheme or a personal pension

* an indication of the amount of State Pension you may be able to get by using your late or former spouse's or civil partner's NI contributions, if this can be used to give you a better State Pension than using your own contributions

The State Pension age is currently 65 for men and 60 for women born on or before 5 April 1950. The State Pension age for women is going to rise to 65 between 2010 and 2020. If you are a woman born between 6 April 1950 and 5 April 1955 the age when you reach State Pension age will depend on your date of birth. From 6 April 2020 the State Pension age for women will be the same as it is for men. It will increase for both men and women from age 65 to 68 between 2024 and 2046.”

Currently the full basic state pension is, for a single person £95.25 per week. For a couple its £152.30 per week. These figures will be made up to a guaranteed minimum income of £130/ £198.45 per week under the Pension Credit scheme. You can get a State Pension forecast by phone on 0845 60 60 265, or through your local Pension Service office.) You can get an instant State Pension forecast online – this is how:

“If you are already registered with another government online service for individuals you can use your existing User ID and password to 'enrol' (sign up) for the State Pension forecast service right away.

If this is the first time you have used the government online service for individuals, you need to register for a State Pension forecast online, receive a 'User ID' on-screen and then wait to receive an 'Activation PIN' (personal identity number). This is sent through the post within seven days by the Government Gateway (the central registration service for online government services). You need to activate the service within 28 days. Your User ID is also sent separately by post.

You'll need certain information to hand when you contact the Pension Service:

* your National Insurance (NI) number (and your spouse's or civil partner's, if you're married or in a civil partnership)

* the types of NICs you're paying (this depends, for example, on whether you're employed or self-employed)

* details of any marriages, civil partnerships or annulments

* details of any time you've spent working abroad

· details of your current salary if you are paid by an employer (rather than self-employed)”

So, when you have a User ID & password you simply log onto and follow the instructions.

You might be disappointed at how little you pension you have earned, especially if you take the trouble to add up all the NI contributions you have paid over the years. BUT AT LEAST YOU’LL KNOW!

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