State pension age is rising today for thousands – this is how to check if it affects you | Personal Finance

State pension age is currently 65 for both men and women but this is gradually being increased to 66 for everyone. The increases have been occurring every two months for roughly a year and from Friday a specific group of people born between specific dates will see their state pension age rise. From last Friday, anyone born between 6 June 1954 and 5 July 1954 will see their state pension age rise from 65 to 66.

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The state pension is not usually paid automatically, even if a person is well into their retirement years.

A state pension will need to be claimed but people should be sent a letter from the state no later than two months before they qualify to remind them.

There are multiple methods for claiming state pension and it can be claimed even if the letter from the government is not received.

As the state pension age changes relatively frequently, it can be difficult to keep track of when a person qualifies.

The government is also committed to reviewing the state pension age at regular intervals too, potentially making the issue worse.

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State Pension age

State pension age rises occur today and people can check on this by going online (Image: GETTY)

Bank account

People who choose to receive state pension will need to have a designated account (Image: GETTY)

Fortunately, it is possible to check on individual state pension ages with a tool provided by the government.

This tool takes into account the latest changes to state pension age so the answer it gives is always accurate.

A user will simply need to provide their date of birth and gender and the tool will provide an exact date for when a person will reach retirement age.

The next change for state pension ages will occur on 6 May 2020.

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If people choose to take their state pension they will receive income every month.

The amount they receive will depend on their national insurance history but to receive any amount at least 10 years of contributions will be needed.

The full amount for the new state pension is £168.60 per week.

In order to receive this, a person will need a minimum of 35 years of contributions.

NI numbers

How state pension is received will depend on national insurance numbers (Image: EXPRESS)

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It is possible to increase this amount further by deferring or delaying a claim.

A person can also check on their state pension by requesting a forecast which will detail an amount they’ll receive in retirement.

If this amount is too low for a person they may be able to boost it by making voluntary national insurance contributions.

If a person has gaps in their national insurance they can pay class three national insurance contributions to fill it up. Self-employed people will pay class two contributions in this situation.

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State pension will be an important income to many as debt levels rise (Image: EXPRESS)

A certain amount of planning will be needed by anyone claiming state pension as the initial payments may take a while to come through.

Currently, state pension is paid in arrears, meaning that the payments will cover the previous four weeks and not the coming four weeks.

On top of this, there will also be a slight delay with receiving the first payment.While payments usually come through once every four weeks, it could take up to five weeks for the first payment to come through once it has been claimed.

The specific days of the week that the payments come through will also depend on the individual’s national insurance number.