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State Pension

(34 Posts)
grannyrebel7 Mon 12-Apr-21 17:16:24

Can someone please tell me what the full amount of state pension is. My friends have all received different amounts. I had a letter today which gave an amount which is less than what I expected. Having worked most of my life I expected the full amount.

Jaxjacky Mon 12-Apr-21 17:27:11

MoneySavingExpert website explains it. Depends on full years paid, pre and post 2016, whether you were contracted out or not, you can buy extra years. As I said, this Martin Lewis site MSE explains it better than I can.

M0nica Mon 12-Apr-21 17:43:14

As Jaxjacky says it is really complicated. always was, even more so now the new flat rate system has been introduced, for some. Very few people, even now, get the standard amount.

My pension is made up of a proportion of the standard rate, because I do not have a full contribution record to which is added amounts because I made Graduated Pension payments ( a scheme of extra income based units dating back to 1960s-70s), SERPS (State Earnings Related Pension Scheme) because my salary exceeded a certain sum, so that I paid higher contributions and get extra on my state pension.. Some of the SERPS I get 100% of because I was not in any private pension scheme at the time I paid them. If I was in a private pension scheme, providing for the SERPS was devolved to my employer who got some contribution from the government towards them.

If you can make sense of the above, you will understand why everyone has a different pension payment from the government. Then of course in 2016 (or thereabouts) they changed the whole system to a flat rate system, but this has to be phased in over a period of years, so if you are still working, that will also be an element in your pension

As Jaxjacky says. look at a reputable site online like MoneySavingExpert to explain in detail.

welbeck Mon 12-Apr-21 18:03:10

this was discussed on MoneyBox, radio 4, last weekend.
sounds very complicated. even the two experts could not agree on the effect of the main changes, one said it would benefit the lowly paid, the other said they would be worse off.
and they were looking at the same facts.
upshot is, very few people will get exactly the same state pension, but eventually years ahead, most people will.

Maggiemaybe Mon 12-Apr-21 19:53:12

The full basic amount is £179.60 a week.

It is indeed complicated, grannyrebel. Another differential is that some years where you were deemed to be “opted out” will not now count towards your state pension.

There are ways of enhancing your payment. If you have been looking after grandchildren in recent years you could claim Specified Adult Childcare Credits, which could help build up an entitlement to a larger pension, or you might consider buying up recent years where there are gaps in your contributions.. Each eligible full year costs about £750 and adds around £5 per week to your pension. You should never buy in years though without first checking with the Pension Service - sometimes it’s just not worth doing this, as it only applies to certain years.

From my recent experience, the best way to contact the Pension Service is by phone. You may have to hang on for ages to get through, but they’ve always very helpful. Any emails, messages or letters I’ve sent just sank without trace, perhaps because they’ve all been working from home.

Welshwife Mon 12-Apr-21 20:37:35

I understood the only part you could ‘opt out ‘ of was SERPS - If you had a Govt pension such as teaching - you were opted out automatically.

Mary59nana Mon 12-Apr-21 20:46:13

Also Pension credits come into play and top up the shortfall to a liveble amount

Shinamae Mon 12-Apr-21 20:57:13

I have 45 years of contributions and my pension is £637.92 a month which isn’t the £718 it should be... I have tried to get through to the pensions office impossible at the moment... I really don’t understand it and do actually need to speak to somebody because reading about it just leaves me in more of a muddle🤦‍♀️

PippaZ Mon 12-Apr-21 21:00:06

Are you sure that is per month and not per 4 weeks?

Shinamae Mon 12-Apr-21 21:03:30

Oh dear, I’m not really sure 🤦‍♀️

Shinamae Mon 12-Apr-21 21:04:13

Is it usually paid four weekly then?.. I am afraid I’m a bit ignorant where this subject is concerned

PippaZ Mon 12-Apr-21 21:08:08

Just checked. The "starting amount" x 4 is £718.40 as you suggest. Where you in a contracted out scheme, paying into a workplace pension or personal pension? That will create deductions.

PippaZ Mon 12-Apr-21 21:09:14

where were

PippaZ Mon 12-Apr-21 21:11:54

It's normally paid every four weeks Shinamae. I think there are other periods (not sure -someone else may know) but they seem to go for four-weekly.

Shinamae Mon 12-Apr-21 21:15:20

No Pippa I never had any private pension of any sort just the state pension

PippaZ Mon 12-Apr-21 21:29:20

Mmm. The only other thing I can think of is number of contributions. You need 30 years for the full amount from what I can see.

I think you are always best contacting the Pension Service. As others have said, it's very complicated. It might be difficult getting through but they are very helpful once you do.

Shinamae Mon 12-Apr-21 21:33:28

And I have got 45 years!!I have tried to get through to them numerous times and I’m just told to call back another time (recorded message )If anyone has a number that I can definitely get through to them on I would be most grateful for it.. and thanks Pippa 💐

M0nica Mon 12-Apr-21 21:46:09

Shinamae Why not contact Age UK or Citizens Advice. They understand these things and often have dedicated numbers they can ring. They certainly did when i worked for them.

rafichagran Mon 12-Apr-21 21:59:21

Its 35 full years to get the full state pension. I have that, but will not get the full amount as I was contracted out.
I have two more years to go. I do my pension forcast every 7th April.

Doodledog Mon 12-Apr-21 22:03:46

Are all the years 'full years'? If you have had gaps between jobs, or worked term-time contracts, for example, you may have missed a couple of payments and the year won't count.

You can check your record on the Yougov site. You need to register, which is a bit of a faff, but once you've done that, it's easy to see everything in one place. I am not yet at spate pension age, so I can't see mine, but I'd be surprised if the way in which your amount has been arrived at is not spelled out on there - you can certainly see your NI contributions at a glance, as well as how many full years you have.

welbeck Mon 12-Apr-21 22:05:06

there was something about widows too.
i think it only applies to people who have been getting the state pension for a few years.
in most cases the woman's pension should have gone up after the husband died. maybe just a little. if it didn't they should look into it. the experts said because everyone gets different sums, that's why this mistake wasn't noticed for so long.

Doodledog Mon 12-Apr-21 22:14:03

That only applies to women who are on the old pension, I think. Since the changes, widows can't claim part of their husband's pension, although there are long-standing miscalculations which will result in back-payments for some. I think it applies to women who didn't pay full NI contributions when that was an option, as they could claim on their husbands' pensions.

Aveline Mon 12-Apr-21 22:26:52

It is paid 4 weekly so we get 13 payments a year. (As far as I can see!)

Shinamae Mon 12-Apr-21 22:42:15

Very helpful thank you very much .. 💐....I did contact age concern a couple of weeks ago left a message and they said they would get back to me but they haven’t...

Shinamae Mon 12-Apr-21 23:16:31

Just tried to set up a gateway account and it kept saying it wasn’t right ...🤦‍♀️....after four times I just give up and will wait to phone them.... I checked and the only thing I wasn’t sure about was when I last had HP I’m pretty sure it was about 15 years ago but that’s the only thing I can think I might have got wrong anyway I really can’t be bothered with that anymore...