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The new State Pension rules were introduced in April last year, but are you clear on what they mean for you? The Department of Work and Pensions explains what the changes mean, and how you can find out exactly how they will affect you.
Minister for Pensions, Richard Harrington, said recently: "With the New Year upon us, many of us will be thinking about our finances and it's the perfect time to take a look at your state pension and check how much you will receive when the time comes to claim it.
"If you are due to retire in 2017 or beyond you will receive the new State Pension – a simpler and easier to understand system than ever before. Armed with a few of these top tips, you can easily find out online or in writing what you've paid in and how much you will receive.
"Pensions can seem daunting but my advice is don't be put off – take a quick look and be prepared. Even if you are a way off from retirement, it's useful to know how much you will receive to help you plan."
The new State Pension was introduced on 6 April 2016 to make it simpler and easier to understand how much you will get, providing a foundation for your retirement income as you plan ahead for a more secure future. To qualify, you need at least 10 years of National Insurance contributions when you reach your State Pension age.
The new State Pension provides weekly payments of up to £155.65, but this depends on how many years of National Insurance contributions you have. As an example, someone who makes at least 10 years' worth of National Insurance contributions could expect to receive £44.47 per week or £2312.44 per year.
Anyone who reaches State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016. For men, that's anyone born on or after 6 April 1951. And for women, anyone born on or after 6 April 1953. And there's good news if you're a woman, as over three million are set to get around £550 more per year as, alongside a better starting rate, you can build more valuable qualifying years more quickly.
If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, your pension won't be affected.
To find out when you might be eligible to retire, and how much you could receive, visit the Check Your State Pension website for your free State Pension forecast. Over 1.5 million forecasts have already been issued giving people clear information about what they could expect in retirement.
Your State Pension age is individual to you. It's also the earliest you can start receiving your State Pension. You can find out online by answering a few simple questions.
You can request a State Pension forecast online to understand when you might be eligible for the State Pension, but you will also be sent a letter four months before you reach State Pension age explaining how to make a claim. You can also find out more at www.gov.uk/claim-state-pension-online. Anyone who doesn't apply by the time they reach State Pension age will have their pension automatically deferred until such a time as they make a claim.