State pension: Seven key changes to take place from next month

Retirement expert advises people to learn about state pensions

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April is a month of change, introducing the start of the new tax year, and sadly rising bills. However, there are also important state pension changes to bear in mind.

Making note will ensure pensioners are not surprised when these alterations occur.

New state pension increase

Firstly, the full new state pension will be increasing from £179.60 to £185.15 per week.

To get the full new state pension, Britons typically need 35 years of qualifying National Insurance contributions.

At least 10 years are required to get any of the new state pension at all.

Individuals should be aware they could get less than the new full state pension if they were contracted out before April 6, 2016.

Eligible pensioners are men born on or after April 6, 1951 and women born on or after April 6, 1953.

Basic state pension increase

Men born before April 6, 1951 and women born before April 6, 1953 will be entitled to this pension.

The full basic state pension will also increase from April onwards, from £137.60 to £141.85 per week.

The full basic state pension is available to those with a total of 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits.

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Those with fewer than 30 qualifying years may see their basic state pension as less than £137.60 per week.

Married Woman’s Pension increase

In some cases, women will get their qualifying years from the National Insurance record of their spouse or civil partner.

The Married Woman’s Pension, for the basic state pension, also known as the Category B pension will rise.

April will bring an increase to the sum from its current level of £82.45 to £85.

Over-80 pension increase

In a similar sense, there is an over 80 pension for those aged 80 or over – currently providing £82.45 per week.

To be eligible, individuals must get either a basic state pension of less than £82.45 a week, or no basic state pension at all.

Additional state pension increase

The Government states: “The maximum amount of Additional state pension you can get is £180.31 per week. 

“The limit does not include state pension top up.”

This is going to rise from £180.31 to £185.90 from April onwards.

Triple lock suspension

The state pension triple lock has been temporarily suspended for one year due to perceived lack of affordability.

Pensioners were hopeful of an eight percent rise, but this did not come to fruition.

The Government decided instead to temporarily scrap the earnings component, implementing a double lock instead.

It means state pensioners will observe a 3.1 percent increase this year.

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Pension Credit increase

Pension Credit is separate from the state pension, but many state pensioners claim it.

It tops up income for those on a low income and who are over the state pension age.

All aspects of Pension Credit will be increasing this year, it is worth noting.

The standard minimum guarantee will rise from £177.10 to £182.60 for singletons, and from £270.30 to £278.70 for couples.

The state pension is vital for millions of older people, reliant on the sum for retirement.

As such, people will want to keep track of when they will be paid and how much.

People can find out more about their state pension, how much they can get, and when, by requesting a state pension forecast. This can be done online through the Government’s website, or by asking for a BR19 application form. 

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