State pension forecast: Check online to see how much you’ll get in retirement

Retirement expert advises people to learn about their state pension

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A crucial part of any retirement planning is the state pension, which can provide thousands of pounds a year to retirees. It is possible to get a state pension forecast online and find out an estimate of how much an individual will get when they reach state pension age.

What does the forecast do?

The forecast provides an estimate of how much state pension someone can expect to receive when they reach state pension age.

It also shows the number of qualifying years someone has on their National Insurance (NI) record.

People can also use the service to find out how to increase their state pension, if they can.

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Here is all the information which can be found using the forecast tool:

  • A state pension forecast for when someone are is due to become eligible
  • A state pension forecast as of the start of the last tax year
  • Details of someone’s NI record, showing any gaps and part years
  • A Contracted-Out Pension Equivalent estimate

However, it is important to note that the estimate is just that, it is not a guarantee of someone’s state pension income and is based on the current law, which could be subject to change in the future.

The forecast also does not include any potential increases in the state pension due to inflation. The state pension rises every year to keep up with the cost of living.

This service is only for people who have not begun receiving their state pension, and anyone who is already getting their state pension or has deferred cannot use it.

Why are NI contributions important?

The number of qualifying years someone has on their NI record directly impacts how much state pension they are entitled to.

Qualifying years can be accumulated by working or receiving NI credits. Britons usually need at least 10 qualifying years to receive any state pension when they become eligible.

How to get a forecast

The ‘check your state pension’ tool can primarily be accessed using the Government Gateway.

People will need a Government Gateway account to use it, but anyone who does not already have an account should be able to set one up using their National Insurance number.

Other ways to apply

If someone does not wish to use the online service and will reach state pension age in more than 30 days, there are other options for how to get a forecast.

They can call the Future Pension Centre on 0800 731 0175 and request a forecast.

Alternatively, they can fill in a BR19 application form and send it by post. The forecast should then be received within 10 working days.

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