The state pension is a big part of many people’s retirement income, but Britons could find themselves short if their NI record isn’t up to snuff. An online tool can help people know where they stand.
Jeannie Boyle, Director and Certified Financial Planner at EQ Investors, explained how National Insurance plays a crucial role in Britain’s state pension entitlement.
She said: ‘Your state pension is based on your national insurance record.
“You will usually need at least 10 years of qualifying on your national insurance record to get a state pension.
“To qualify for the full state pension, you need 35 years of National Insurance (nics) contributions.”
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Eligible years of NI contributions can be earned in a number of ways, with most people doing so by automatically paying National Insurance out of their salary or wages.
However, those who are unemployed can also improve their record by obtaining NI credits.
These credits may be available to individuals who receive the following benefits:
- Family allowance for a child under 12
- Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
- Care allowance.
However, she also warned that this may not be the right decision for everyone and urged Britons to consider the following before deciding to make voluntary contributions:
“Your health: If you have a reduced life expectancy, exchanging capital for a lifetime income may not be the best solution.
“Access to capital: Another consideration is the purchasing power of a lump sum versus a relatively small increase in your regular income.
“If the amount is a large percentage of your savings, it’s probably prudent to keep the funds on deposit (perhaps in an ISA) rather than depleting them to buy additional income.”