Digital by default/ The State Pension Forecast

17 August 2015

The current Basic State Pension provides £115.95 gross a week, which amounts to £6,029 gross per annum. The State Pension is paid gross, but is taxable income. The full State Pension benefit is usually achieved with a record of 29 years of appropriate National Insurance contributions (NICs). Bearing in mind that this income is largely protected against inflation, this for many is a real benefit when available. In addition to this, some may also receive additional income in the form of a Second State Pension (S2P), State Earnings Related Pension (SERPS), or a Graduated Pension as a top up.

In the past, the main way of checking the benefits available to an individual was to complete a BR19 State Pension forecast form and send it to the Newcastle processing office of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). The last few years has seen the introduction of an online facility to make the same request for information.

With the ever-evolving proliferation of the Internet, the paper option has now been withdrawn, with the digital by default option being the only choice. The link to this option is detailed here: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-state-pension (please note that unless you are already aged at least 55, you cannot yet use the system to calculate or request a statement based on the new rules. Until April 2016, the online system will produce calculations using the current rules).

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With the major changes planned for the State Pension benefit system starting in the next tax year (2016/2017), such as the need for 35 years' worth of NIC records and the uplift to a full State Pension of approximately £145.00 gross per week (or £7,540 gross a year) if you are entitled, checking your entitlement has never been more important.

The basic State Pension should form part of your overall retirement strategy and if you would like to look at your pension, investment and retirement planning, then please contact the team at Chapters Financial, either at our Guildford or Woking offices.

No individual advice is provided during the course of this blog.

Keith Churchouse FPFS
Director
Chartered Financial Planner
Certified Financial Planner
ISO22222 Personal Financial Planner

Chapters Financial Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, number 402899.