How long do you have to work to receive a full pension in retirement


A worrying number of people have no plans in place for their future retirement, a survey has found. A quarter of 35-44 year olds and 25-34 year olds have no plans for the period between 50 and retirement.

A recent survey of 1,000 people by Opinium on behalf of Hargreaves Lansdown also found that more than a third (34%) of people aged 45-54 have no plan in place for their working years. remaining. It comes after a period of uncertainty stemming from the 18-month lockdown which saw 11.7million staff furloughed, at a cost of £70billion, the Daily Record reports.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown: “These results indicate a worrying lack of planning among those closest to retirement about how they plan to spend their remaining working years. The pandemic may well have played a role in this, with economic upheaval potentially causing chaos for people’s retirement planning, with many older workers retiring early after being laid off. »

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She added: “It’s also possible that the volatility in the investment market that we saw earlier in the pandemic has had an impact on people’s pensions, causing them to put off their retirement plans for a bit longer. Retiring working part-time is often a better way to handle such a huge change from a financial and emotional well-being perspective.

While this is encouraging for those with a work or private pension, for many who have retired or have not reached the minimum £10,000 requirement for automatic enrollment, a state pension may be their best option for retirement income, but eligibility is not automatic. The state pension is a contributory payment and in 2019 data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) revealed that of the 1.1 million people applying for the new state pension, just under 500 000 (44%) receive the full amount of £179.60 per week.

The amount of state pension people will receive depends on how long they have contributed to National Insurance (NI). In October 2020, the UK government raised the state pension age to 66 for both men and women and plans to raise it to 68 over the next few years.

But, how many years of NI contributions do you need to make to qualify for the “new” full state pension? You will need at least 10 qualifying years on your NI record to get a state pension and it does not have to be 10 consecutive qualifying years.

This means that for 10 years, at least one of the following applies to you:

  • you were working and paying NI dues

  • you received NI credits for example if you were unemployed, ill, a parent or carer

  • you were paying voluntary NI contributions

If you have lived or worked abroad, you may still be able to get a new state pension. You may also be eligible if you have paid reduced rate contributions for married women or widows – find out more about this on the GOV.UK website here.

You will need 35 qualifying years to receive the new full state pension if you do not have an NI record before April 6, 2016. For people who have contributed between the ages of 10 and 35, they are entitled to part of the new state pension.

Qualifying years if you work

When you work, you pay NI and benefit from a qualifying year if:

You may not pay NI dues because you earn less than £183 a week. You can still get a qualifying year if you earn between £120 and £183 a week with an employer.

Qualifying years if you are not working

You can get NI credits if you cannot work – for example due to illness or disability, or if you are a carer or are unemployed.

You can earn NI credits if you:

  • Applying for family allowances for a child under 12 (or under 16 before 2010)

  • Getting Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance

  • Receive childcare allowance

If you don’t work or earn NI credits

You may be able to pay voluntary NI contributions if you are not in one of these groups but want to increase the amount of your state pension. Find out more about the GOV.UK website here.

What if there are gaps in your NI record?

You may have gaps in your NI record and still get the new full state pension.

You can get a state pension statement which will tell you how much state pension you can get. You can then request an NI declaration from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to check if your file has any gaps.

If you have gaps in your NI record that would prevent you from getting the new full state pension, you may be able to:

Check your National Insurance record here.

Check your state pension age

Check your state pension age using the free online tool here.

This will tell you:

  • When you reach the legal retirement age
  • Your age of eligibility for the pension credit


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