Reader’s Q: I won’t get a full state pension as I only paid a half stamp, how can I boost my pension?

3 min Read Published: 26 Apr 2011

Reader's Question:

Hi, my age is 61 and I have worked since the age of 15 and I retired at 58. I have been told my state pension accruement is only 14 years as I did not pay a full stamp for half of my working life. Why do I not get a quota of the years I paid half stamp? And also my husband has the full 42 years and has not yet retired so he will have worked 46 years by then can I claim extra pension off the surplus years he has?

My response:

OK let's start from the beginning. On the basis that you are already 61 then you have reached your state retirement age.

Based on what you say, you have only accrued 14 years worth of National Insurance Contributions (NICs), known as qualifying years. Given that you were born before 6th April 1950 you needed 39 qualifying years to receive a full Basic State Pension (BSP). But there is something you can do about it.

Now ordinarily if a person does not have a sufficient number of qualifying years it is possible for them to buy back some (even if you are already receiving the state pension).

Now there are rules as to who can pay additional voluntary NICs to buy back missed years and how many years they can buy back. Now this can get confusing but fortunately the Pension Advisory service have created a Voluntary National Insurance Contribution Planner. This provides a series of multiple choice questions, the aim of which are to see if you could boost your state pension by paying additional voluntary National Insurance Contributions.

But as you say, you did not accrue state pension rights all the while you paid a half stamp (plus voluntary NICs can't be paid for these years either). But you may also be able to use your husband's NI record to boost your own state pension. While you can't claim your husband's surplus years you may still be able to claim on your husband's NI record in order to boost your state pension, but only once he reaches state pension age. But again, the above Pension Advisory planner will cover this for you.

I hope that helps and good luck,

Best Wishes

Damo


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  1. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS, THEY WERE VERY HELPFUL, MY HUSBAND RETIRES NEXT NOVEMBER SO HOPEFULLY I SHALL BE ABLE TO CLAIM SOME OF HIS WORKING YEARS CREDITS!

    YOU HAVE BEEN MOST HELPFUL.

    BEST REGARDS
    JOAN

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