State pension top up opportunity

From 12 October 2015 to 5 April 2017 there is an opportunity for some people to ‘top-up’ their state pension entitlement. This scheme which entails the payment of Class 3A national insurance is available to all pensioners who reach State Pension age before the introduction of the new State Pension in April 2016.

The scheme allows pensioners an option to top up their pension by up to £25 a week in a way that will protect them from inflation and offer’s benefits to widows/widowers.  It is most likely to help women, and people who have been self-employed, who tend to have low additional State Pension entitlement.

To be able to benefit you must be:

  • entitled to the basic State Pension or Additional State Pension before 6 April 2016
  • And be either a man born before 6 April 1951 or a woman born before April 1953 

Basically the scheme involves paying a lump sum now in return for an enhanced pension entitlement. How much you will need to pay up-front depends on:

  • how much extra pension you want to get each week  and
  • how old you are when you make the contribution

For example if you are a 68 year old male in October 2015 and would want to get an extra £5 per week (£260 a year) on top of your pension, this will mean a lump sum payment of £4,135.

To obtain an amount specific to your circumstances there is a calculator at https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-topup

As always take further advice so that you understand the implications before you proceed.