There are many things to consider as you approach retirement. It is good to start by reviewing your finances to ensure your future income will allow you to enjoy the lifestyle you want and typically this will comprise the State Pension, any work place pensions and many will have also chosen to make personal pension provisions.
HMRC offer the following useful services to assist as part of this financial review:
- National Insurance record checker service for State Pension entitlements
- Check your State Pension Forecast
- Tracking service for lost pensions
National Insurance record checker service for State Pension entitlements
This service allows you to check your National Insurance Contributions (NIC) record online and will let you see:
- What you have paid, up to the start of the current tax year (6 April 2023).
- Any National Insurance credits you have received.
- If gaps in contributions or credits mean some years do not count towards your State Pension (they are not ‘qualifying years’).
- If you can pay voluntary contributions to fill any gaps and how much this will cost.
- In some circumstances it may be beneficial, after reviewing your records, to make voluntary NIC contributions to fill gaps in your contributions record to increase your entitlement to benefits, including State Pension.
In order to use the service, you will need to have a Government Gateway account. If you do not have an account, you can apply to set one up online. By signing in to Check your National Insurance record – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)you will also activate your personal tax account if you have not previously done so. HMRC’s personal tax account can be used to complete a variety of other tasks in real time, such as claiming a tax refund, updating your address, completing your Self-Assessment return and checking your State Pension forecast.
Check your State Pension Forecast
By signing into Check your State Pension forecast – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) you will get an idea of how much your payments will be when you become eligible. You can still get a paper state pension forecast from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), if required. The online service will also provide information about how you can increase your state pension, if you can. You will need to have a Government Gateway account to access this service online.
Tracking service for lost pensions
Moving from job to job and starting a new pension each time can present a headache when the time arrives to think about retiring. Few of us can recall every pension provider of a work place pension and unless you have carefully filed all the relevant paperwork, you may need help tracking them all down. HMRC’s tracker will not tell you whether you have a pension or its value but it will help you in finding the details. You will just need to remember who your employer was at the time and the tracker will provide contact details of the pension providers for you to get in touch. The tracker can also help to locate personal pension providers. You can use the service by signing into Find pension contact details – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and does not require access to a Government Gateway account.
If you would like further information on any of these services or follow up advice please speak to your usual contact at the firm or contact our Tax Director, Jenny Marks.
If you would like more information on pensions in general please contact Mark Underwood at Muras Baker Jones Financial Services Limited.
To see our other news items please visit our Muras Baker Jones – Blog.