State pension age: How to check when you can get monthly payment amid changes

Thérèse Coffey confirms they are 'not reviewing state pension age'

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The state retirement age is currently 66 in the UK, but this will go up in the coming years. This means people could have to wait until age 67 or 68 to start receiving their state pension.

People can check their state pension age online using the free Government tool, which is very straightforward to use and can help Britons plan out their retirement by telling them at what age they can expect to begin receiving state pension payments.

By using the Government tool, people can find out not only when they will reach state pension age, but also their qualifying age to receive Pension Credit, as well as when they become eligible for free bus travel.

When using the tool, one will be given two options; check their state pension age, including Pension Credit qualifying age, or check their bus pass age to find out when they will get free bus travel.

Whichever option is chosen, the process is very simple. One simply enters their date of birth and the tool calculates at what age they will reach state pension age, qualify for Pension Credit or becomes entitled to free bus travel, depending on which option they chose to view.

It is important for people to check their state pension age, as some will discover they have to wait several months longer after reaching 66 years old to start receiving payments. Checking one’s state retirement age ahead of time can help avoid being caught out.

People retiring today will do so at age 66, but this will keep going up to as high as 68 for some. Those born between October 6, 1954, and April 5, 1960 will begin receiving their pension on their 66th birthday.

Previously, women were able to retire at 60 and men reached state pension age when they turned 65. However, changes were made to bring women’s state pension age in line with men, meaning that the current state pension age of 66 now applies to both women and men.

The state pension age will go up to 67 by 2028 and eventually it will rise to 68 between 2044 and 2046. The state pension age is regularly reviewed by the Government and is increased over time due to increases in life expectancy.

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There have been calls from some to lower the state pension age again, as the most recent data showed that life expectancy has actually fallen in the UK. However, the Government has resisted this, and some people believe this lower life expectancy is a product of the pandemic and will be an anomaly.

However, one’s state pension age may be different to the age they can receive their workplace or personal pension, as these can be more flexible.

People who wish to continue working past state retirement age can do so, as there is no ‘default’ retirement age forcing anyone to stop work once they reach a certain age. Some people may need to work past state retirement age in order to afford their retirement.

Another free Government tool available to Britons looking to plan their retirement is the state pension forecast tool, which can show how much money one will get through state pension upon finishing working.

The service can give information on how much state pension one could get when they reach state retirement age, when they start receiving it, and how to increase the amount one will receive, if they can.

People who are already getting their state pension or have deferred their state pension cannot use this service, and those people will need to contact the Pension Service or International Pension Centre to find out more information about their pension, depending on whether they live in the UK or abroad.

The quickest way to get a pension forecast is by using the online tool, but people who will receive their state pension in more than 30 days from now can also get a forecast by filling in the BR19 application form and sending it by post, or calling the Future Pension Centre, who will then post the forecast out.

The value of the state pension varies depending on whether one qualifies for the new or basic state pension. The full new state pension is currently worth £179.60 per week, or £9,339.20 for a full year.

On the other hand, the full basic state pension is worth £137.60 per week, which adds up to £7,155.20 each year. The value of state pension increases each year to help pensioners maintain their spending power even as inflation increases the cost of living.

Pension Credit is a benefit aimed at people who are retired and on a low income and helps to supplement this by providing extra money to help people in need with their living or housing costs. This is separate from one’s state pension.

People who have caring responsibilities, are disabled or responsible for a child or young person may be eligible for Pension Credit. One can get Pension Credit even if they have other income, savings or their own home.

Those receiving Pension Credit could also get other forms of help such as a Council Tax reduction, a free TV licence if one is aged 75 or over, help with NHS dental treatment, glasses and transport costs for hospital appointments, or help with their heating costs.

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