State pension: 3 ways to boost your sum through your National Insurance record

Expert on how to get the most from your state pension

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How much state pension someone can get is dependent on their National Insurance record when they reach state pension age. It is therefore imperative people build a strong enough record to get the full sum.

Britons usually need to have 10 qualifying years on their National Insurance record to get any new state pension at all.

They could need 35 qualifying years to get the new full state pension.

However, people should note they may get less than the new full state pension if they were contracted out before April 6, 2016.

To get the full basic state pension, 30 years are required.

These years do not have to be consecutive.

Qualifying years for National Insurance can be earned in three different ways.

Qualifying years through working

Britons most commonly earn qualifying years by paying contributions through employment or self-employment.

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People who are employed and earning over £190 a week from one employer should automatically pay National Insurance and be able to earn qualifying years.

Self-employed people are responsible for making sure they pay National Insurance.

National Insurance credits

Those who are not working could still improve their National Insurance record through certain benefits.

The following benefits come with attached National Insurance credits which contribute towards earning qualifying years:

  • Child Benefit for a child under 12 (or under 16 before 2010)
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Carer’s Credit

Voluntary contributions

Someone might be able to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions as another method of improving their record.

This could help them get more state pension.

Britons can check their National Insurance record online to see where they stand and whether they need to take steps to improve their state pension entitlement.

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