Personal Finance

State pension deadline extended for plan that could ‘boost income by £55,000’

State pension savers who risk missing out on the full entitlement have been given a second chance in a scheme that could see them add £55,000 to their retirement.

HMRC has extended the deadline for Britons to top up their national insurance contributions if they have found there are gaps in their payments.

The full state pension, which will be worth £203.85 a week from April, is available to people who have 35 years of NI contributions.

Those who have not paid NI contributions for the full period, for example because they took time off work to raise children, will receive a lower state pension unless they make voluntary contributions.

Older Britons with gaps in their payments from April 2006 are particularly being urged to top up as they are closer to retirement. People are able to make payments for gaps between April 2006 and 2016.

The deadline to pay was originally April 5 but this has now been extended to July 31 2023.

Victoria Atkins, the financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “We’ve listened to concerned members of the public and have acted.

“We recognise how important state pensions are for retired individuals, which is why we are giving people more time to fill any gaps in their National Insurance record to help bolster their entitlement.”

Contributions cost just over £800 for a full year of missed payments, which unlocks access to an extra 1/35 of a state pension. The cost could rise after July 31.

Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter, told the Daily Express: "Someone with 10 missing years could pay a little over £8,000 to fix the gaps and boost their state pension income by £55,000 over a typical 20-year retirement.

“If you have one or two years missing, then this might only cost you in the region of £1,600 but within just a few years of retirement, you’d make your money back and more."

Do I have a gap in my national insurance contribution?

If you're not sure if you have paid all your national insurance contributions, you can use the Government's State Pension forecast calculator to see how much you'll get based on your current record.

If it does not say you'll get the full amount, you can then check for gaps in your record.

What is the state pension?

The full state pension rate for 2022/23 is £185.15 a week. This will rise by 10.1% to £203.85 from April 2023.

The basic pension (from the Old State Pension) is currently £141.85 and will rise to £156.20.

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Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.


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