With effect from 12th October this year a new Government scheme will allow those approaching or in receipt of the State Pension to top up the weekly payment by as much as £25.
To be known as Class 3A Voluntary National Contributions, the Government will allow people who already receive the State Pension and those who reach pension age before April 6 to buy extra pension of between £1 and £25 per week. The price depends on how much they buy and the price decreases with age. This scheme will run until 5th April 2017.
The information is on www.gov.uk/statepension which gives the following details:
By increasing your State Pension you can get a guaranteed extra income for life with State Pension top up.
By making a lump sum payment before 5 April 2017 you can receive between £1 and £25 extra per week
You must be entitled to the basic State Pension or Additional State Pension and be either:
- a man born before 6 April 1951
- a woman born before 6 April 1953
If you have gaps in your National Insurance record, it may be more cost effective to make voluntary contributions first.
To find out how much you’ll need to pay there is a State Pension top up calculator by following the link www.gov.uk/state-pension-topup.
- proof of your identity, eg your P60 or the last 4 digits of your bank account
- your National Insurance number (if you know it)
You can also apply for your State Pension top up over the phone.
Telephone: 0345 600 4270
Textphone: 0300 200 3519
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 8am to 4pm
Get a refund
There’s a 90 day ‘cooling off’ period so you can get a refund if you change your mind.
If you die
The contribution (minus any top up you’ve claimed) will be refunded to your estate if you die within 90 days of topping up.
If you die after 90 days, your contribution will only be refunded to your estate if you deferred taking your State Pension.
Take financial advice
The costs are attractive compared with a private pension company and top ups increase in line with consumer price index measure of inflation. There are many factors to be considered before making a payment, such as how long you expect to live. So it is as well to talk to your financial consultant and get all the information possible before you commit but at least there is a 90 day cooling off period.