State pension warning: Britons could be denied payment based on National Insurance record

State Pension: Expert outlines criteria to qualify

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On Saturday, BBC Money Box said Peter had written in needing some answers regarding his sister’s state pension. He said: “My sister was self employed and has been told she can’t have a pension because she hasn’t bought enough stamps.”

He was not sure if the decision was lawful.

Reporter Dan Whitworth explained how self employed people can ensure they can claim state pension and how Britons can get the full state pension.

To get a full new state pension, people need 35 years of National Insurance contributions, but if someone has at least 10 years people can still claim something.

Britons usually need a total of 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits to get the full basic state pension.

The amount a person gets may differ, such as if they were contracted out.

Mr Whitworth said: “If you have at least 10 years, you do get something.

“It’s about £52 a week which is just over a third of the full pension.”

National Insurance contributions are usually taken from people’s wages if they work, however there are different rules for self employed people, Paul Lewis, presenter of the podcast explained.

Mr Whitworth agreed, saying that self-employed people need to apply for class two contributions.

He said: “They are flat rate and currently £3.15 each week, but if their earnings are too low they do not have to pay them.

“At the moment the threshold is £129 a week so it is quite possible that Peter’s sister did not earn enough from her self employment to pay them.

“It’s possible that she could pay voluntary contributions now however this probably won’t be enough for her to get any pension.”

Britons are reminded about the National Insurance helpline on the Government website if more information is needed.

Britons must be eligible to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions for the time that the contributions cover.

They can usually only pay for gaps in their National Insurance record from the past six years.

People can sometimes pay for gaps from more than six years ago depending on their age.

The full new state pension is £185.15 per week.

The actual amount one gets is dependent not their National Insurance record.

Someone’s National Insurance record before April 6, 2016 is used to calculate their starting amount. This is part of their new state pension.

If the starting amount is less than the full new state pension people can get more by adding more qualifying years to their National Insurance record after April 5, 2016.

They can do this until they reach the full new state pension amount or reach state pension age – whichever is first.

Each qualifying year on one’s National Insurance record after April 5, 2016 will add about £5.29 a week to their new state pension.

The exact amount they will get is calculated by dividing £185.15 by 35 and then multiplying by the number of qualifying years after April 5, 2016.

People can use a the state pension forcers tool on the Government website to find out how much they could get and when.

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