Deadline for State Pension top-ups extended – BBC News

  • by Kevin Peachey
  • Personal finance correspondent, BBC News

image Source, Getty Images

People have been given more time to rectify deficiencies in their National Insurance records – to ensure they can maximize their State Pension entitlement.

Initially, people had till April 5 to make voluntary adjustments for gaps between 2006 and 2016, but the cut-off has been extended till the end of July.

The original deadline was caused by blocked phone lines.

In general, people need 35 years of qualifying contributions to receive the full State Pension.

‘bounce’ in call

Some people may have places on their National Insurance records, for example if they live abroad or take time off for caring responsibilities.

Top-ups are allowed as part of the transition to the flat-rate State Pension introduced in 2016.

But blocked phone lines to HM Revenue and Customs left some worried they would miss the April deadline, and the government said the reason for the latest extension was to ensure no one missed out.

“HMRC [HM Revenue and Customs] and DWP [the Department for Work and Pensions] has experienced a recent increase in customer contact,” said Victoria Atkins, the Treasury’s Financial Secretary.

“We have listened to concerned members of the public and acted. We understand how important the State Pension is to retirees, which is why we are giving people more time to fill in any gaps in their National Insurance records. are giving so as to help strengthen their eligibility.”

check your circumstances

Pension experts say the extra contribution may not be suitable for everyone in these circumstances, so it is important to check whether it is suitable for their finances.

Anyone can access their personal tax account to view their National Insurance record and obtain a State Pension forecast without charge to decide whether making a voluntary contribution is a good decision for them.

Former Liberal Democrat pensions minister Sir Steve Webb, who is now a partner in the advisory LCP, said: “For most people, paying voluntary National Insurance contributions to cover the shortfall in their State Pension makes excellent financial sense.

“But it’s also important to make sure the extra contribution is right for your individual case because sometimes the extra contribution may not boost your pension.”

Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at investment platform Hargreaves Lansdowne, said: “It is important that you check before handing over any money as you may be able to bridge these gaps in a different way – for example through benefits By reversing the claim.”

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