State pension: Warning over urgent deadline next month - check and make sure you’ll get full retirement pay
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An important deadline to do with state pensions is looming - and it could affect how much money you have in retirement. People only have until July 31 to buy any missing National Insurance (NI) years dating back from 2006 to 2016.
Most people need 35 qualifying years on their NI record to claim the full new state pension, so this is important. If you have less years than 35 years, your state pension will be smaller - in fact, you usually need ten years to get anything at all.
The full new state pension is currently worth £203.85 per week and the state pension age is 66, although this is rising to 67 and eventually 68. You’ll claim the new state pension if you were born on or after April 6, 1951, if you are a man and after April 6, 1953, if you are a woman.
You will get the basic state pension instead and this deadline doesn’t affect you if you were born before these dates. According to Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert.com website, anyone aged between 45 and 70 should check their NI record now to see if they have any gaps to fill.
You’ll only be able to go back six tax years after the July 31 deadline. If you do need to plug any gaps in your record, most people who are employed will need to buy class 3 NI contributions.
For each full year of class 3 NI contributions you buy, from 2006 - 2007 up to and including 2019 - 2020, it will cost you £824.20. This rate is slightly less for the following tax years - the rate for 2020 - 2021 is £795.60, and for 2021 - 2022 you’ll pay £800.80.
Each year you buy then adds £275 a year to your state pension. If you’re self-employed, or you live and work abroad, you may need to purchase class 2 NI contributions to top up your record - or class 3 if you’ve retired abroad.
How do I check how much National Insurance I need to pay?
To check if there are any gaps in your NI record, you can use the Gov.uk state pension forecast calculator. This will tell you if you’re expected to retire on a full new state pension.
But you should also see if you’re able to plug any NI gaps for free. You may be entitled to NI credits if you were claiming statutory sick pay, for example, and not earning enough for a qualifying year.
If you claim benefits like Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance may also qualify for NI credits. For more information visit the Gov.uk website.