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The State Pension age has changed for people reaching State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016. The amount you get will depend on how many qualifying years you paid or were credited with making National Insurance contributions.
State Pension age before 6 April 2016
If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you can find information on the State Pension arrangements that apply to you at the link below.
- State Pension before 6 April 2016
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Your new State Pension age is based on your National Insurance record when you reach State Pension age. You will usually need to have 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any new State Pension.
You may get less than the new full State Pension if you were contracted out before 6 April 2016.
- Changes to contracting out from 6 April 2016
You may get more than the new full State Pension if you would have had over a certain amount of Additional State Pension under the old rules.
- Additional State Pension
You’ll need 35 qualifying years to get the new full State Pension if you don’t have a National Insurance record before 6 April 2016.
The tax year
The tax year begins on 6 April and ends on 5 April. A qualifying year is a tax year when you:
- earn enough income to pay National Insurance contributions
- are treated as having paid or credited with National Insurance contributions
Qualifying years if you’re working
When you’re working you pay National Insurance and get a qualifying year if:
- you’re employed and earning over £183 a week from one employer
- you’re self-employed and paying National Insurance contributions
You might not pay National Insurance contributions because you’re earning less than £183 a week. You may still get a qualifying year if you earn between £120 and £183 a week from one employer.
National Insurance rates and categories
Qualifying years if you’re not working
You may get National Insurance credits if you can’t work because:
- you are ill or have a disability
- you’re a carer
- you’re unemployed
and claim certain benefits such as:
- Child Benefit for a child under 12 (or under 16 before 2010)
- Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
National Insurance credits
You’re not working or getting National Insurance credits
You might be able to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions if you are not in one of the above groups but want to increase your State Pension amount.
- Voluntary National Insurance contributions
Gaps in your National Insurance record
You can have gaps in your National Insurance record and receive the full new State Pension.
You can get a State Pension statement which will tell you how much State Pension you may get. You can also apply for a National Insurance statement from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to check if your record has gaps.
- Getting a State Pension statement
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More useful links
- Retirement planning
- Workplace pensions
- Personal and stakeholder pensions
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