This week the Government opened the doors on its new State Pension top up scheme, meaning millions of people could buy up to £25 a week on their State Pension.
Before you get too excited, the scheme is only available for people who reach State Pension age before 6 April 2016. So if you’re reading this and you’re a woman under 62 or a man under 64 then topping up isn’t for you, but it could be right for your parents or older friends and family. And on the plus side, you’re still young!
How does it work? It’s simple. You pay a lump sum and start receiving between £1 to £25 a week from your next State Pension payment. The amount you pay depends on how old you are and how much you want to get back. You’ll get your weekly payment for the rest of your life, and it will rise with inflation. Then your wife or husband can inherit it from you.
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE:
If you’re a 65 year old man and you want to top up your State Pension by £10 a week, you’ll need to pay £8,900. Or if you wait until your 66th birthday then it’s £8,710.
If you’re a 70 year old woman and want to top up by £1 a week, you’ll need to pay £779. Or if you want to get the full £25 a week, you’ll need to pay £19,475.
As you can see, the amounts change depending on your age and how much you want to get back.
The best way to find out how much you could top up by is to use the State Pension top up calculator at www.gov.uk/state-pension-topup
We spoke to Philip Morgan, 66, who is semi-retired from the entertainment industry and lives in Brighton, about why he plans to top up: “If you’ve got a certain amount of available money, it’s hard to imagine something that could be much better in terms of secure income.”
“When my father died he left me some money, so I’m interested in topping up because I want to turn that into a guaranteed income.”
Topping up suits Philip’s wife too: “The fact that some of the income can be inherited by my wife is really important.”
As always, it’s a good idea to look at your other options first and make sure you’ve got a full record. Philip says “I looked at if I needed to fill any gaps in my record first, but luckily I was fully paid up so I am getting the full State Pension anyway.”
The scheme closes on 5 April 2017, so there’s lots of time to think about it.
To apply now, visit: www.gov.uk/statepensiontopup
To register for updates, send an email to:[email protected]
Are you or anyone you know going to top up?