29th September 2014
Pensioners have just 12 months to go until they can obtain State Pension top-ups worth up to £1,300 a year.
People can pre-register now and from 12 October 2015 until 5 April 2017 they will be able to make a contribution for a top up, allowing them to increase the value of their State Pension.
This scheme is open to all those who will have reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 and it will be a one-off opportunity.
This follows the wider reforms the government is introducing with the new State Pension to make the system fairer and simpler for future generations, and new pension freedoms that will give savers more control over their hard-earned money.
Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said: “This is a real opportunity for people to increase retirement incomes from £1 to £25 a week. Many people won’t have had the chance to build an Additional State Pension, such as women and the self-employed, and we have devised a way that will provide a fairer system.
“The increased income will be index linked providing a fair deal for pensioners. The increased State Pension payment will be index-linked as the Additional State Pension is.”
The top ups can be inherited, with a surviving spouse or civil partner entitled to at least 50% of the Additional State Pension. Webb said the opportunity is being introduced to create a “fair option for existing pensioners to increase their pensions ahead of the introduction of the new State Pension in April 2016”, which brings together the Basic and Additional State Pensions.
An online calculator is now available to help pensioners weigh up the options.
The voluntary contributions will work like this:
People can pre-register their interest online now or by calling 0345 600 4270.