State pension warning: 20,000 people could improve state pension – are you missing out?

The state pension can be claimed once the eligible individual has reached state pension age, with the amount that a person receives being dependent on their National Insurance record. The DWP has warned that some people may be missing out on the qualifying years for their state pension which they’re entitled to – and this could improve how much state pension they can get.


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National Insurance credit count towards qualifying years for the state pension, and they can improve entitlement.

However, unclaimed National Insurance credits mans spouses and civil partners of people in the armed forces may be facing gaps in their record.

These gaps can have an impact on their state pension entitlement.

The credits go towards building qualifying years for the state pension.

Gaps on one’s National Insurance record can occur if a person is not working or they’re unable to make National Insurance contributions – including if a person joined their spouse or partner on an overseas posting with the armed forces.

It may be that these people are able to claim National Insurance credits, in order to combat this gap.

Last year, the Government announced that National Insurance credits were being left unclaimed by spouses and civil partners of men and women in the armed forces, who accompanied them on an overseas posting.

According to officials, the figure of those missing out could be up to 20,000.

Pensions Minister Guy Opperman is urging military partners who have missed out on claiming National Insurance credits to do so now.

“We value the incredible sacrifice made by our armed forces, and their families who may need to move abroad during their service,” he said.

“These credits ensure spouses or civil partners who have been unable to work during those times do not lose out on entitlement to the state pension.

“Anyone who believes they’re entitled to National Insurance credits should contact HMRC.”


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Eligible people can still claim the credits which support those who might have given up work to accompany their partner on military postings overseas, even if their marriage or civil partnership has broken down, or their partner is no longer serving in the armed forces.

These people must have been married or in a civil partnership at the time of the posting.

The DWP points out that a person cannot get credits for any postings overseas before April 6, 1975.

For more information and to check one’s entitlement, people can visit the eligibility page of the “National Insurance credits” section on the government website.

How much is the state pension?

The full new state pension is currently £168.60 per week, however it is set to rise by 3.9 percent in April 2020 – reaching £175.20 per week.

The full weekly basic state pension is – at present – £129.20.

However this is also set to increase by 3.9 percent – to £134.25 per week, from April 2020.

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