Details of the new State pension rates were announced by George Osborne in the recent Autumn statement.
From April 2016, the rates will be as follows:
£119.30 per week for existing pensioners (i.e. those who reach state pension age before 6 April 2016)
£155.65 per week for the new ‘single tier’ state pension for those who reach state pension age on or after 6th April 2016, and have the full 35 years of National Insurance contributions. The actual amount payable could be higher or lower, depending on your National Insurance record.
If you are aged 55 or over, you can apply for a forecast of the amount of State pension you are likely to receive here.
The state pension top-up opportunity opened on 12th October for people who want to boost their annual income by increasing their state pension.
The opportunity is available to anyone who already receives a state pension, or anyone who will become eligible to receive the state pension before 6th April 2016 (when the new flat rate pension commences).
Those taxpayers can pay a voluntary lump sum (Class 3A National Insurance) to receive up to £1,300 a year, for life, on top of their current state pension.
The actual amounts payable to receive additional pension depend on the pensioner’s age at the time of payment. Further information and calculators can be found on the HMRC website.
(Please note that the ability to inherit a spouse’s pension will disappear next April with the introduction of the flat rate pension. People who reach state retirement age on or after that date need to ensure they have sufficient complete NI contribution years in their own name to receive a pension – a minimum of 10 years, and a maximum of 35).