From April 2020 the state pension will increase by 3.9 percent, which is inline with the earnings growth recorded in 2019. This will see basic state pension rise to £134.25 per week, with pensioners qualifying of the full rate seeing an increase to just over £175 a week. Due to cost and perceived over-generosity, the triple lock system is often debated and there have been attempts to end it entirely.
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Regardless of what happens with the triple lock system, pensioners have multiple methods of increasing what they’ll receive.
Currently the full state pension is £168.60 per week but this can be increased.
National Insurance contributions of 30 years will be needed to receive this full amount but if there are gaps or a shortfall voluntary contributions can be made.
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There are a number of methods for increasing state pension payments (Image: GETTY)
Receiving more income will make retirement more comfortable for many people (Image: GETTY)Voluntary NI Contributions
Gaps in National Insurance records can happen for a number of reasons, including if the person is living abroad or earned limited amounts.
Usually, gaps from the previous six years can be topped up but sometimes it is possible to pay for gaps from more than six years if certain age requirements are met.
For those who are eligible, voluntary top ups will be done through either class two or class three contributions.
However, it should be noted that not all voluntary contributions lead to increases in state pension. To find out exactly what contributions will increase state pension payments the Future Pension Centre should be contacted.
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Another option for increasing state pension payments is by deferring (delaying) when it’s received.
For those who feel able to do so, deferring state pension could increase payments when they’re eventually claimed.
The basic State Pension increase by one percent for every five weeks its deferred.
Although, it should be noted that extra payments received from deferring could be taxed.
Living standards for retirees varies across the country (Image: EXPRESS)
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There are also ways for those not eligible for a basic state pension, or who are not getting the full amount to qualify for a “top up”.
For individuals who are in a marriage or civil partnership they may be able to qualify got a “top up”.
A person can receive a weekly top up of £77.45 if both members of the partnership have already reached state pension age.
There are also additional requirements that need to be met for an individual to receive this top up:
State pensions are guaranteed to increase under the triple lock system (Image: GETTY)
Their spouse or civil partner reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 and qualifies for some basic State Pension, even if they have not claimed it
Their spouse or civil partner reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016 and has at least one qualifying year of National Insurance contributions or credits from before 6 April 2016, even if they do not qualify for any new State Pension or they have not claimed it
Women with spouse or partners born before 6 April 1950 can only get the top up if they are married to either a man or a woman who legally changed their gender from male to female during the marriage
Those who qualify for this top up should receive it automatically. If a person feels they qualify for it but are not receiving it they can contact the government’s pension service. The government generally advises that anyone looking into retirement and their pension affordability should seek out financial advice. Free advice can be found from organisations like the Money Advice Service, Pension Wise and the Pension Advisory Service. Private financial advice can also be sought but these will usually incur fees.