State pension: How you can BOOST your state pension income
The new state pension was introduced in 2016, and the full pension is presently worth £168.60 per week. In April 2020, the state pension is due to increase by 3.9 percent, to £175.20 per week. Those on the older basic state pension will receive an increased weekly income of £134.25.
How much of what you receive in your new state pension will depend on how many years worth of National Insurance contributions you have made.
Only those who have made 35 years of contributions will qualify for the new, full state pension.
Steve Webb, former Minister of State for Pensions and partner at pension consultant Lane Clark & Peacock, told Express.co.uk: “A really good way to boost your state pension is make sure you are claiming any National Insurance credits to which you are entitled.
“Even if you are not in a job, you can still build up a state pension if you are getting child benefit for a child under 12, if you are a carer, or if you are looking after grandchildren.
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“Claiming National Insurance credits does not cost anything but can make a real difference to your income in retirement.”
If you haven’t met the 35-year threshold for the full state pension entitlement, you will get a percentage of the state pension.
But if you’re looking to increase your pension income, there are things you can do to fill in the gaps.
If you are eligible, you might be able to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions.
This is usually possible for gaps over the last six years.
If you are able to, you might also be able to defer your payments, meaning your state pension entitlement increases.
For every nine weeks you defer claiming your state pension, your pension increases by the equivalent of one percent.
However increased payments may also be subjected to tax.
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If you are claiming your state pension, and earning a weekly income below £167.25 (or £255.25 for couples), you may be eligible for Pension Credit.
Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income, while Savings Credit is an extra payment for people who have saved money towards their retirement, such as in a pension.
However, you can only get Savings Credit if you reached the state pension age before April 6, 2016.
Many people planning for their retirement will also be contributing to a workplace pension scheme to boost their future income, so how can you boost it?
Mr Webb added: “The best way to boost your private pension is to make the most of what your employer has to offer.
“Although there is a legal minimum which firms have to contribute, many employers will go further if you put more money in yourself.
“For example, if you put an extra £10 per week into your workplace pension, your firm might match that so that you get £20.
“It is hard to think of any other way of investing your money that gets such a good return.”
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