Cost of living: People have more time to boost their pension by tens of thousands as major deadline extended
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People will have more time to boost their pensions by tens of thousands of pounds after a two-year extension to a major deadline was approved by the Government. The voluntary National Insurance contributions deadline has been extended until April 2025, it was announced today (Wednesday, June 14).
It means that people have more time to properly check their entitlement and in most cases boost the amount they receive when they retire. The original deadline was extended to July 31 2023 earlier this year, and according to the Government tens of thousands of people have taken advantage to pay voluntary contributions to the HMRC since then.
Victoria Atkins, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “People who have worked hard all their lives deserve to receive their State Pension entitlement, and filling gaps in National Insurance records can make a real difference. With the deadline extended, there is no immediate rush for people to complete gaps in their record and they will have more time to spread the cost.”
Laura Trott, Minister for Pensions, said: “I am pleased to see so many people taking steps to review their State Pension, which is why we have extended the deadline for customers to add extra years to their National Insurance record. This extension means thousands more people will have time to check their entitlement, and in many cases, increase the amount they receive when they retire.”
Martin Lewis had been due to address the issue on the return of The Martin Lewis Money Show Live on ITV on Tuesday (June 13). The Money Saving Expert founder had previously issued urgent warnings to everyone aged between 45 and 70 about the impending deadline.
Reacting to the deadline being extended, the consumer champion tweeted: “I suspect it isn’t a coincidence that this announcement comes the day before my special on it, with the pensions minister coming on, knowing I was going to go hard about people having to call the Future Pensions Service 100s times before they get an answer.
“Overall though the extension is very good news.”
How do I check how much National Insurance I need to pay?
Most people need 35 qualifying years on their NI record to claim the full new state pension. If you have less than 35 years, your state pension will be smaller - in fact, you usually need ten years to get anything at all.
The full new state pension is currently worth £203.85 per week and the state pension age is 66, although this is rising to 67 and eventually 68. You’ll claim the new state pension if you were born on or after April 6, 1951, if you are a man and after April 6, 1953, if you are a woman.
To check if there are any gaps in your NI record, you can use the Gov.uk state pension forecast calculator. This will tell you if you’re expected to retire on a full new state pension.
But you should also see if you’re able to plug any NI gaps for free. You may be entitled to NI credits if you were claiming statutory sick pay, for example, and not earning enough for a qualifying year.
If you claim benefits like Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance may also qualify for NI credits. For more information visit the Gov.uk website.