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Hands up if you understand the new state pension

State pension

The new state pension is designed to be simpler, clearer and fairer. But if you know one thing about the state pension, it’s likely to be this: it’s complicated.

The state pension is changing. Anyone reaching state pension age from next Wednesday will do so under a new system. However, our research shows that most people are still in the dark as to what all these changes mean.

High awareness, low understanding

Our latest research found that while two thirds of people approaching the state pension age (50 – 64 year olds) were aware that changes are coming, most were confused about what the new system really meant.

Only one in five knew that from November 2018 the state pension age will be 65 for both men and women. And more than half didn’t know if those who have reached retirement age can top up their state pension or not.

Of those surveyed, four in ten admitted they don’t know what the full rate of the new state pension will be. Given some of the calculations involved, and that not many people will actually get that full amount initially, it’s really not that surprising.

Clearing things up

The new system aims to simplify how much people will receive and when they are eligible to claim the state pension, but there’s no doubt that it’s still complicated.

Given our research findings, it’s clear that more needs to be done to make sure that people understand what these changes are and what they mean for them.

Our guide can take you through these changes to the state pension. And you can get a written statement from the Government showing your estimated state pension.

So, do you know your ‘contracting out’ from your ‘top ups’? What’s the most important change that you think people need to know about?

Are you clear as to what the state pension changes mean for you?

No, not at all (46%, 596 Votes)

Sort of (27%, 359 Votes)

Yes I am (27%, 353 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,308

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I guess I’m one of the “lucky” ones. I’ve already got the min 30 years, although I think I need 35 to qualify for the maximum. It’s just a question of seeing which 5 years will be the cheapest to buy. Why do I think I’m lucky. Well I probably won’t be needing the state pension, as I’ve provided for myself. So the state pension is just a bonus on top ( and yes I know I’ve paid for it too). I just wish Gordon Brown hadn’t moved the goalposts as I would be drawing MY pension by now, rather than having to wait to get hold of it. Mumble Mumble.

Morag Cumming says:
3 April 2016

I’m one of the lucky ones too, but for quite different reasons. I chose to do work that I WANTED to do, work that was very low-paid but that I felt was socially useful in a way that suited my outlook on life, rather than the well-paid work that would have had me bored witless for most of my working life.

I’m also lucky in that though I’m 61, I have a job that I love, working five mornings and four short afternoons. I’m glad I haven’t had to retire yet.

However, it all does mean that I’m going to be struggling financially as a pensioner. I know I’ll get roughly £131 per week state pension since I was one of the ones who foolishly contracted out. We did what we were told was best at the time.

I’m not looking forward to that at all, but the bigger fear is being made redundant before state pension age. With all the cuts to education and the probable academisation of state schools, that’s entirely possible.

Still, I’ve had a lot of friends that have died way too young, so I’m well aware I may not reach pension age. The life I chose means I’ve had a good life. For now, I’m very glad of that.

I was under the impression that because I was born in April 1955, I would not receive my state pension until I am 66. I am totally confused!

Alison, sorry you wont receive your state pension until you are 66. Which is wrong in the introduction. No wonder there is confusion. Men and Women pension age is now 66.

Maggie says:
4 April 2016

My sister’s in the same boat – born in February 1957, according to the DWP she won’t get her state pension until she’s 66, in February 2023. If there’s been a change then it isn’t reflected in the DWP pension calculator.

The retirement ages and dates have changed a few time over the last few years and I expect the government (who ever they are at the time) will change ages and dates yet again.
One of the most infuriating things ALL governments do is promise something now, but it will not be implemented for up to 2 years.
Just a query, if 35 years worth of contributions entitles you to the £155 (Equal to £4.428 per week worked) state pension, then why do people who have worked for up to 50 or more years not get more ( 50 weeks x £4.429 = £221.40 per week) – just means we are still paying for the people who will not get a job.
Various Governments have instigated “The National Minimum Wage” with has now had a name change (Another ploy by government’s to fool you into think you are getting something better) and is now known as “The National Living Wage” which is currently £7.20 per hour based on a 40 hour week = £288.00 and is considered to be the MINIMUM income required for a person to live on and is £133.00 below the maximum state pension.
Can somebody please explain why I am expected to live on an income of approximately 40% below my pension as my bills have NOT diminished by this amount. (I personally cannot claim any supplements because I have saving a little over the maximum allowed, for such things as our funerals or roof may collapsed or car engine blows up), My Wife is not entitled to the maximum state pension or supplements because of our savings. ( Apparently I get free prescriptions very rarely)
( The following calculation is without the state pension taken into account and just “The National Living Wage” applied.
Even after the statuary 20% tax I have to pay I work after retirement “The National Living Wage is still £230.4 – just slightly higher than my pension if it was paid by the actual number of years worked.)
If I split my employees wages in the same way, it would deemed as ageism and I would be prosecuted

As far as I can see they blunder ahead with changes which they fail to communicate and just don’t understand how these changes can affect people’s lives. I am one of the unlucky women born in the 1950s, I received one letter from the DWP two years before my 60th birthday notifying me that my state pension age was now 66!!

Yes, me too. 58 this year and got to wait till 66. Worked most of my life since I was 16 and had a Saturday job!

Under the old system I would have received a full state pension of £115 starting from next week when I will be 62 years and 2 weeks. However, I now won’t receive the pension until I’m 65 years 6 months and because I have 30 instead of 35 years’ contributions, and because I was also contracted out for a pension (that went bankrupt) I will only receive about £85 based on the new £155 rate. I’m furious about it.

Under the old system I would have received the full state pension using missing years from my husband NIC as I am a widow. When I will get my pension next year I will receive 69 euros instead of the 155 a week. No warning for us widows, divorcees and housewife. I feel really let down. No one has given me a chance to earn more years on my own right to built up a better pension as the law is from 2014.

I sympathise, you are in a terrible position and no one, politicians , media or Which have been interested. I tried raising this issue with Which, the Guardian, BBC, both political parties about 2 years ago and the only response I got was from DWP who said that as it affected less than 5% of women it didn’t matter. Probably didn’t to the civil servants. Which have been particularly disappointing as they claim to cover info on the New scheme but do not provide any on this aspect.

I was born in 1954 and know only too well that I have been well and truly shafted not once but twice with pension age rises. I discovered at 58 that I would not be retiring , as I thought , at 60 but at 66. I had no letters telling me that my pension age had risen twice. I am one of the WASPI women who are fighting for a fair transitional arrangement to be made. The Government stated that everyone had to be given at least 10 years notice of pension age rises….but then forgot to tell us. We agree that pension ages should be equalised but not that a cohort of women born the the early 1950s should bear the whole brunt for this change. Its not fair

suerope says:
4 April 2016

I think its disgusting that us that are in late 50s early 60s have to wait to get our pensions. The way I look at it is that depending on when you started full time work. In my case 15 yrs old full time, every job I have done in my earlier years was heavy manual labour. I myself with these kind of jobs have made me very weak, leadind to ostioarthritis, poly arthropia, etc. My body is worn out I am in agony 24/7 with my illness. I was a very fit person to do the jobs I did. Nothing is taken into consideration of the jobs people have done. After all women especially have worked had kids full time mother, cleaner, cook, nurse I can go on as well as doing a hard working job. I think we have the right to be able to retire at the age of 60 not 65/66 as we had all been told by the government its a bloody disgrace for all of us. Having people working in offices is a lot different to manual labour workers. This should be taken into consideration we are not all the same.

I was born in 1957 and until I received a letter from the DWP in July 2013 stating that I would be 66, I thought my retirement age would be 60 which I will be next year in 2017. If Which is supposed to be helping with this confusion this statement from above doesn’t help at all. ‘Only one in five knew that from November 2018 the state pension age will be 65 for both men and women.’ The State Pension age for women was equalised to 65 back in 1995 by the then Conservative Government but the DWP did not notify any women born in the 1950’s that we would be the first to be affected. In 2011 it was put up to 66 for both men and women and the DWP then started to send out letters. I found out 4 years before I was to retire at 60 that I would have to work until I was 66.

Both men and women working longer will reduce the number of jobs available to young people starting out. They are getting a rotten deal too, if they are on zero hours contracts and no job security. There is a lot of unfairness in all this.

I’d like to see some better publicity about what happens for people who would have been entitled to a higher pension under the old scheme than the new one. Everyone is saying “They’ll get the higher amount”, but I don’t think that’s the whole truth. I believe that what will actually happen is that they’ll get what they would be entitled to under the new scheme, plus a supplement to bring it up to the higher amount. However, when the annual increases are applied, they will only apply to the new scheme amount, and not to the the supplement. Thus this extra amount will gradually lose value with inflation. The DWP, the press and Which? have kept very quiet about this. I hope that’s because I’ve got it wrong, but I fear it’s yet another government swindle.

I am locked on this page after making a comment why??