State Pension Top-up

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).

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Pensions Auto-Enrolment – 1st Penalties!

TPR (The Pensions Regulator) has started charging their first penalties to employers who have not complied with their legal obligations regarding workplace pensions.

All businesses with PAYE schemes have been issued with a ‘staging date’ for auto-enrolment – if you are unsure of yours, you can check here by entering your PAYE reference number.

By the time the staging date is reached, employers must have a pension scheme in place, and must automatically enrol all workers who:

  • Are not currently in a pension scheme
  • Are aged between 22 and state pension age
  • Earn more than £10,000 a year
  • Work in the UK

More detailed information can be found on The Pensions Regulator’s website.