Hot on the heels of my last post about my Personal Pension Review, I have as I said I would, checked my National Insurance Contributions history. I have also taken the opportunity to check my State Pension Forecast. In for a penny and all that!! I have to say that it has been really straight-forward.
I thought it would be useful to share the links and information below on how and where to find this information on the Government Gateway site.
As I said in my last post, I have been putting this off because I was concerned about the shortfall from the parenting years. Couple this with doing battle with a Government website and you can see why it’s been on the pending file for so long. As it turned out the process was very straight forward. It was also good news.
How to Check your National Insurance Contributions Record
You can check your National Insurance Contribution record by following this link. You will get to the screen below. If you have ever accessed HMRC online, you will already have an account. If not, you will be prompted on how to do so. If you already have an account that you haven’t accessed for a while, you will be prompted with an extra security measure. For me, this meant that I was prompted to enter an access code which was sent to my mobile. Once I did this I was straight in and able to access my account.
Once in, you will be given a full breakdown for every year that you have paid National Insurance contributions. This also gives full details on whether you have Full Year’s and also where there may be a shortfall. On the right of the screen it will also tell you how many years of Full Contributions that you have and how many years you have left to contribute.
As things currently stand and as far as I am aware, for a woman of my birth year to get the full basic State Pension I need a total of 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits. Obviously, this is subject to change but as of this moment in time, I have met the requirements currently needed for a Full State Pension.
The great news for all of you lovely mum’s out there that thought you may be missing a few years of contributions due to raising children, you aren’t.
I understood it to be the case that National Insurance Contribution Credits (Class 3) were given to women entitled to claim Child Benefit. However, I assumed that when many women were no longer eligible to receive Child Benefit (Family Allowance), the National Insurance Credits also stopped. They haven’t. It seems that all women who are registered for child benefit for a child under 12 are eligible for Class 3 National Insurance Contributions – even if they do not receive Child Benefit (see below). You can read more about eligibility here. This certainly seems to be the case for me.
How to Check your State Pension Online
Now that I’d managed to get this far, I thought it was worth checking my State Pension (or The New State Pension as it is now called depending on your birth year). Either way, I came up with the same result. The full new State Pension is £159.55 per week.
This link will take you to a similar log in to the one for checking the pension credits. It will ask you to confirm your identify based on the details that HMRC already know about you. I used the same details that I used above. Once again, straight in. You can now check your State Pension Entitlement.
You may also wish to read the paragraph below.
Contracted Out Pension Equivalent (COPE)
In my recent post about the Personal Pension, I talked about being contracted in and out of SERPS over the years. This is something that also shows on the page where you check your State Pension Entitlement.
If you scroll down, there is a section that will tell you whether you have been in a contracted-out pension scheme. There will also be a link that tells you what this amounts to. It’s not part of the State Pension but it should be included as part of your Personal Pension if you have one.
State Pension Retirement Age
I have already established that the State Pension Retirement Age for a woman of my birth year is 67 . It turns out that a man of my husband’s vintage also reaches the State Pension Retirement Age at 67. If you are so inclined, you can get the whole family checking!
You can check your State Pension Retirement Age here on the Gov.UK website
Over to you!
Why did I leave it so long?! I shouldn’t have and I didn’t need to. But we do just put these things off, don’t we! Hopefully, you won’t have to now because all of the links are here for you to find out what you need to know. Obviously, I am not a Pension’s Expert but a little bit of research has given me the answers that I need for now.
Hopefully you can now do the same and this post will save you some valuable time in searching for the information.
Disclaimer – All of the above information has been provided as a result of my own personal research. It is not intended to be used as financial advice. You should always consult the relevant authorities with regard to your own personal circumstances. This post is merely a guide on where to find information.