A lot of people may assume that they will automatically receive the full State Pension (which is currently £97.65 for the 2010-11 tax year) but this is not necessarily the case. In fact some people will get less than the full entitlement while others may get more.
This is because the amount of State Pension you will receive at retirement depends on how many qualifying years of National Insurance Contributions (NICs) you have built up. If for example you have not been able to pay NICs at some point in the past your State Pension entitlement may be reduced as a result. Consequently, it is useful to understand how you build up State Pension.
It is also important to find out how much State Pension you may be entitled when you come to retire, not only so you can plan financially but so you can take action if your State Pension is likely to be less than expected.
So how can I find out what my likely State Pension will be?
Simple, get a State Pension forecast. A state pension forecast gives you detailed information on what you might receive when you reach State Retirement age. The forecast will estimate both your basic State Pension as well as any additional State Pension (S2P).
Does it tell me anything else?
Yes, a State Pension forecast can also tell you:
- The current value of your of your State Pension
- A forecast of what you may receive if you defer taking your State Pension
Blimey! According to my forecast I won’t be getting anything near the full basic State Pension, what can I do about it?
Fortunately the State Pension forecast does include information on how to improve you basic State Pension. Also take a look at my recent answer to a reader’s question - How do I boost my state pension?
So how do I get a State Pension Forecast?
You can get a forecast online, by telephone or by post. Easy, why put it off?