Online steps to check state pension entitlement

Online steps to check state pension entitlement

People planning to retire, or access their state pension, can now go online to see how much they are entitled to.

The UK Government has a free online tool which also shows you how to increase your State Pension.

In addition, if people want to get hold of some of their cash from a private scheme, they can usually start taking money out from the age of 55, which is over 10 years earlier than you can claim your State Pension.

However, State Pension payment calculations will change next year for some people who live or have lived abroad.

To get the full basic State Pension you need a total of 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits. This means you were either:

If you have fewer than 30 qualifying years, your basic State Pension will be less than £137.60 per week but you might be able to top up by paying voluntary National Insurance contributions.

You can check your NIC contributions on HMRC website and pay a voluntary contribution to close any gaps in NIC payments on your record, you can also view your forecasted pension earnings.

State Pension cannot be claimed until a person has reached State Pension age, which increased to 66 for everyone across the UK in October 2020.

You can check your State Pension forecast on the GOV.UK website. Anyone can use this service to find out:

  • how much State Pension you could get
  • when you can get it
  • how to increase it, if you can

You cannot use the service if you are already getting your State Pension or if you have deferred claiming it. To check your State Pension forecast you will need to prove your identity. This can be done in a number of ways depending on your circumstances.

Sign in with Government Gateway
You’ll have a user ID if you’ve signed up to do things like file your Self-Assessment tax return online.

Sign in with GOV.UK Verify
You’ll have an account if you’ve already proved your identity with either Barclays, Digidentity, Experian, Post Office or SecureIdentity.

Sign in with a digital identity from another European country
If you’re part of an ID scheme in a participating country, you may be able to use it here.

Create an account
If you do not already have one of these accounts, GOV.UK will help you choose whether to use Government Gateway or GOV.UK Verify.

Choose a way to prove your identity

Government Gateway – You will need:

  • your National Insurance number or UK address
  • a recent payslip or P60 or a valid UK passport

GOV.UK Verify works best if you are over 20 years old. You will need:

  • a UK address
  • a mobile phone
  • at least one valid photo ID from any country

Whichever method you choose to create a GOV.UK account, once it’s set up and verified, you can check your State Pension forecast.

Find out your State Pension forecast on the GOV.UK website here.

For those living abroad, the State Pension calculation will affect people who move to live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and those who have previously lived in:

  • Australia, before March 1, 2001
  • Canada
  • New Zealand

Check here for information

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