State pension warning: 1950s women lose out on full £168 because of National Insurance | Personal Finance

The state pension age for men and women is currently 65 but will increase to 66 by October 2020. The pension age will then rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028. While the basic state pension is up to £168.60 a week, some pensioners will receive less due to paying lower National Insurance in the past.

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Speaking to, Age UK’s policy expert Sally West said: “In terms of the new state pension there’s a set amount which is the full amount of £168.80 a week.

“People reaching state pension age now may not get the full amount because they haven’t got a full contribution record.

“But there’s also a very complicated part of the system which is about the transition from the old system to the new system.

“If somebody was working and paying into an occupational pension before 2016, if it’s what’s called a contracted-out pension, they would have been paying lower national insurance than the standard rate.

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State pension changes mean 1950s women could receive less than the basic rate (Image: GETTY )

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The state pension age for men and women is currently 65 but will increase to 66 by October 2020 (Image: GETTY )

“This is because they would have been paying into a workplace/occupational pension instead.

“An adjustment is made for that so even if you’ve got a full contribution record, if you were part of a contracted pension, you may find you don’t get the full amount.

“You’re not losing out because you were paying lower national insurance and it’s nearly always better to have been paying into a private/occupational pension instead.

“Some people who get to state pension age who get a bit more than the standard amount and that again is to do with past contribution records and building up additional pension.”

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The pension age will then rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028 (Image: GETTY)

Ms West explained the three types of benefits that can be claimed during the interim.

She said: “The working-age benefits are conditionality.

“You could apply for universal credit if you were out of work and seeking work.

“If you’re a carer it might qualify you for some support or you might be able to get a benefit called carers allowance which isn’t means-tested.


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The basic state pension is up to £168.60 a week (Image: EXPRESS)


“If you’ve got health problems or disabilities, you might be able to get universal credit on that basis.

“Again there are other benefits for example, one called the personal independence payment which is for people who have extra costs for care, daily living or mobility needs.

“Again, that isn’t means-tested.

“We would suggest anyone who is worried and struggling to manage to visit someone locally like a citizens advice bureau or Age UK who can help you.”