Basic state pension can be claimed by a man born before 6 April 1951 or a woman born before 6 April 1953. Anyone born after these dates will need to claim the new state pension instead. To receive the basic state pension a minimum amount of national insurance contributions is needed and the most that can be received is £129.20 a week. The basic state pension is guaranteed to increase by the government. The payments will increase every year by whichever is the highest of average earnings, prices as measured by the consumer prices index or 2.5 percent.
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While the £129.20 per week figure is referred to as the full amount, it is possible to receive more than this.
It is possible to make voluntary contributions to national insurance records in order to increase the pension payouts.
On top of this, state pension can be delayed (deferred) which will increase the amount received when it is eventually claimed.
The basic state pension increases by one percent for every five weeks it is deferred. Married individuals or those in civil partnerships could also be eligible for increasing their payments.
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Adult Dependency Increase payments will end come April (Image: GETTY)
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On top of the basic payouts, it’s possible that some claimants could receive a unique payment.
The Adult Dependency Increase is a payment provided if the claimant has a partner who is financially dependent on them.
Depending on the severity of the situation, this payment could be as high as between £41.90 or £70 a week.
If the highest amount is given, the extra payments could equate to more than £3,000 a year. Applications for adult dependency increase closed in 2010. However, people who had already qualified for the scheme could continue to receive the payments.
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These payments will now stop for everyone from 6 April 2020.
Those who this affects should have received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
A follow up letter should also have been received in the Autumn of 2019.
Commenting on this change, Steve Webb said: “Under the old state pension system, people claiming a retirement pension could get a significant extra amount for a spouse who was financially dependent upon them.
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“Although that addition was abolished for new claims in 2010, many people already in the system have continued to benefit.
“It will come as a nasty shock to thousands of people to see their state pension cut by up to £70 per week.
“It seems penny-pinching of the government to take this money away when the addition is gradually working its way out of the system in any case.
“Losing over £3,500 per year overnight will make a material difference to the standard of living of those who are affected.”
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While the loss of income will likely hit hard for many, the government detail that there are options for people who are affected. When the payments stop, claimants may be eligible for pension credit or universal credit.
To check if this is the case, a Universal Credit helpline can be contacted. Here claimants can find out if they’re eligible as well as get details for how the application process works. If this application process is used certain documents will be needed.
The claimant will need to provide details on their bank, building society or credit union account information, basic personal information like email addresses and living situations as well as financial details such as income and investment details.
The Universal Credit system may be difficult for new claimants as the payments are done in arrears. It usually takes around five weeks for the first payment to come through, meaning it is possible to fall behind with bills and living costs.
If this proves to be an issue, it is possible to receive an advance ahead of the first payment. However, it should be noted that this advance will need to be paid back to the government and the repayments usually come out of the universal credit payments themselves.