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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HMRC Top-Up for Charities!

Under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, charities (and Community Amateur Sports Clubs) are able to claim top-up payments from HMRC on cash donated to them via (amongst others) – Church collections, collection buckets and street collection tins.

These top-up payments are calculated in a similar way to Gift Aid, i.e. cash donations of £100 would receive a £25 top-up from HMRC.

To qualify, individual cash donations must be no greater than £20, and although this does not need to be collected in UK pounds, it must be collected in the UK and paid into a UK bank account.

The limits for claiming these top-up payments are the lower of either:

  • £5,000

Or

  • The amount of Gift Aid claimed for the equivalent tax year X 10

(If the Charity does not claim any Gift Aid, then it may not be eligible for a top-up from HMRC either).