State pension: Britons can boost their fund by top-uping their National Insurance credits | Personal Finance | Finance

With inflation running at an all-time high of nine percent, savers approaching retirement are reminded to make sure their pension is complete. Personal finance expert Peter Komolafe appeared on ITV’s Lorraine this morning, suggesting that those approaching retirement should ensure their “pension is inflation-proofed”.

He explained that the current new full state pension is £185.15 a week, however to qualify for the full state pension people must have made National Insurance contributions for a number of years.

He said: “For those in their 40s and 70s, there’s the possibility that if they know they probably won’t be eligible for the full state pension, then they can buy a few years of National Insurance contribution to get a bit of a boost.

“There are a couple of hoops to jump through.

“First, you need to check what your state pension forecast is, or you need to check your National Insurance record. You can do this on the gov.uk website.

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“But essentially, what this basically means is if you’re closer to state retirement age and you know you’re not going to get the full state pension, this could be a no-brainer.

“There is much more at stake in terms of details, but there are two centers that you can call.

“The Pension Center of the Future, if you are not of state retirement age right now, and if you are of state retirement age, you can call the Pension Center.”

Britons normally need to have 35 years of qualifying National Insurance contributions to get the new full state pension.

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If someone is under 35 years old, then they will receive less state pension.

However, individuals can purchase additional years of National Insurance to increase their state pension.

The new full state pension, which is claimed by anyone who has reached state retirement age before 6 April 2016, is currently worth £185.15 per week.

Most people accumulate National Insurance credits during their working years, but if they were to take time off work, they may have gaps in their record.

These may include people who choose to become stay-at-home parents or full-time caregivers for their loved ones.

At the moment, people can buy years for any gap in their record since 2006. But the rules will change starting April 5, 2023.

After this date, individuals will only be able to buy back six years’ worth of NI contributions.

James Andrews, Senior Personal Finance Editor at money.co.uk, outlined how much money people are at risk of losing when it comes to their state pension.

Mr Andrews explained: “Retiring without a single missing National Insurance credit costs you just over £275 a year, every year of your life.

“That means in the run-up to state retirement age it’s vital that you make sure you claim as many qualifying years as you can.

“To get the full state pension, you need 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions, and people who are less than 10 years old get nothing at all.

“The first thing to do is find out where you are; you can do it online here with nothing more than a Government Gateway ID and your password.

“Once you know where you stand, the good news is that there are several ways to increase your contributions in the run-up to retirement.”

Lorraine continues tomorrow on ITV at 9am.

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