Get to know and love your State Pension

How much is the State Pension and how does it work? This issue takes you through the basics of what the State Pension is and how you can check what you might get.

National Insurance contributions are a tax on earnings paid by employees and employers. National Insurance can also be paid voluntarily. You might also receive credits in respect of periods of unemployment, sickness, or time spent as a parent or carer. The contributions and credits help to build your entitlement to a State Pension.

If you have at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record, you should have some entitlement to a State Pension. If you have a long enough National Insurance record, usually at least 30 qualifying years, you’ll have built up the maximum State Pension which (for 2022/3) is £9,627.80 a year.

The State Pension alone will only provide your most basic needs. However, the State Pension together with your RMDCP pot and any other savings should provide you with a comfortable standard of living in retirement.

You receive a benefit statement each year showing the progress of your RMDCP ‘pot’ but you’re almost certainly building up entitlement to a State Pension too (by paying National Insurance) but the Government don’t issue annual benefit statements!

You can use the Plan Retirement Income pages of the website to find out:

  • how much State Pension you could get,
  • when you can get it, and
  • how to increase it (if you can).

Did you know? You don’t have to ‘retire’ in order to start taking your State Pension. You can take your State Pension and continue working, if you so wish.

As always, I would love to hear your views on pensions, and please ask me what you want to know.

Wishing you all the very best,


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