Online tool could help you boost your state pension payments | Personal Finance | Finance


It is vital for people to understand the state of their retirement prospects. Fortunately, an online tool could help future retirees discover more about their pension, including how much state pension they could receive.

The state pension forecast is an online Government tool which could help future pensioners get more information about their pension. People can use the service to find out how much state pension they can receive, when they can get it and possibly even how to increase the amount they receive.

The forecast can give users an idea of how much their state pension payments will be once they reach state pension age, which is currently 66 in the UK for both men and women.

It can also display the number of qualifying years people have on their National Insurance record, which helps to dictate how much state pension they will get as it is based on the number of years of contributions people have accumulated.

The ‘Check your state pension forecast’ can be accessed through the Government Gateway, where people can find out the following information about their pension:

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In order to access the state pension forecast online, people need a Government Gateway account, but for those who do not already, it is possible to set one up using their National Insurance number.

People will already have a Government Gateway user ID if they have previously signed up, which they may have done for the purposes of filing a self-assessment tax return online.

It is possible for people to receive a paper state pension forecast from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) instead, but people are being urged to make use of the online service to access their information.

The online service will also provide information about how one can increase their state pension, if they can.

However, people should be aware that the estimate is not guaranteed to be completely accurate, as it is based on the current law, and does not take any future increases due to inflation into account.

The forecast can be used to give an idea of what people can expect with regard to their state pension, but it is not a flawless system to be taken as gospel.

This is partly due to the fact that the relevant agencies which provide information for the service, such as HMRC, the DWP and private or workplace pension schemes have not always shared all of their data with each other.

This can therefore impact the accuracy of the forecast.

For example, one issue is the data provided to the government about people’s contracting-out history, which may not be up-to-date and could therefore mean the value of people’s COPE payments are calculated using the wrong rates.

Those who will reach state pension age in more than 30 days can request a state pension forecast via phone or post.

They can do this by calling the Future Pension Centre and requesting a state pension forecast. Alternatively, they can complete a BR19 application form and send it to the Future Pension Centre to receive a state pension forecast. These forms can be downloaded from GOV.UK.

It is worth noting that people cannot access the service if they are already receiving their state pension payments, or if they have deferred their state pension.

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