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There can be a huge variation in state pension payments but anyone can check on what they’ll get by using free-to-use tools provided by the government.
Some people may be disappointed by what they’re predicted to get but they can take action to rectify this.
It is possible to make voluntary National Insurance contributions which can top up a person’s record.
However, there are costs associated with this.
Voluntary National Insurance contributions can cover gaps from the previous six years.
The contributions in question will be either class two or class three and the claimant’s circumstances will affect which one is paid.
Employed people will generally pay class three contributions while the self-employed will usually pay class two contributions.
Choosing to make these contributions will incur charges.
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For the current tax year, it costs £3.05 a week to make class two contributions.
Class three contributions are even more expensive, costing £15.30 a week.
To make class two contributions, a person will usually need to complete a Self-Assessment tax form.
There is more variety in how class three is paid as it can be done online, through direct debit or by physical visits to a bank.
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Once a person is ready to receive their state pension, they will need to actively claim it.
State pension is never paid automatically and if it isn’t claimed, it will be deferred.
It is possible to claim a state pension within four months of reaching the required age.
The quickest way to claim it is by using the government’s online tool but it can also be done over the phone or by using a form that will need to be sent to a local pension centre.
It’s also possible to claim state pension while still working, meaning some claimants could have additional income in retirement.
If a person becomes widowed, they may also be able to inherit their partner’s state pension.
Retirees who move abroad will also still be able to receive a British state pension and it will continue to increase every year if the claimant moves to:
- A country within the EEA
- Certain countries that have a social security agreement with the UK
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