State pension warning: Claimants lose out if they don't pay 35 years 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. The basic state pension is £168.60 a week but can be increased if a claimant fills in the gaps on their contribution record or defers their claim.

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Speaking to, Age UK policy expert, Sally West said: “Under the current system, you need 35 years of contributions across your lifetime to get the full new state pension.

“There are some complications with that because it depends on your situation before 2016.

“But broadly speaking, the system is based on 35 years.

“You may have a couple of years with travelling or whatever reason and that may not make a difference to your state pension.

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State pension

State pension claimants have been warned about they amount they receive (Image: GETTY)

State pension

The state pension age for men and women is currently 65 (Image: GETTY)

“But if for some reason you’re not building up contributions and you have gaps then you may not get the full pension.

“It is a matter of finding out what your individual position is and if you’re not currently building up national insurance contributions see if there’s a situation where you can fill up those gaps or in some cases pay voluntary contributions.

“It may be worth it.

“Start with finding out where you are.”

State pension news

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

Ms West also revealed how claimants can get an extra 5.8 percent a year on the basic rate.

She said: “There may be occasions where you’ve got recent gaps in your contribution record.

“For example, perhaps you had an occupational pension but you stopped working before state pension age and you’ve not building up a record.

“It may be possible to fill up those gaps.


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Retirement facts

Retirement facts (Image: EXPRESS)


“You need to check, you need to work out if there is gaps. If so, how much it would cost to fill those, whether you can and whether you feel its worth it.

“Another thing that people can do, if for example they’re still working after state pension age, they can put off claiming the pension which is called deferring.

“If for example you have to defer for at least nine weeks. For every full years that you defer you would get about 5.8 percent extra on your pension.

“If you can manage without your pension and perhaps because you’re in work, you can choose not to draw it and then you will get a higher pension going forward.”