State Pension age rises and what it means

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Men and women can now only claim the state pension when they reach the age of 66, and that age is set to rise again. We look at how this could change your financial plans

If you turned 60 in the latter half of this year, you will now have to wait another six years to claim the State Pension. The official age for claiming the pension has now risen to 66 – for people born between 6 October 1954, and 5 April 1960. However, anyone younger than that will have to wait until at least the age of 67 or 68 to claim their pension, as a phased increase has been introduced.

When can I claim?

You can use the government’s pensions calculator to find out when you will be eligible to claim the state pension.

At the moment, the full State Pension is £175.20 a week, and to receive that you must fulfil a number of criteria, the most important of which is to have been paying national insurance for 30 years (though there is an option to make voluntary contributions if necessary). The pension figure should also rise with inflation each year (see below). You can see how much you are currently entitled to at www.gov.uk/check-state-pension.

Planning ahead

As we have seen from the changes in pension age to date – especially for women born in the 1950s who were hit particularly hard by changes in the pension age that left them little time to re-plan their finances – we can’t always tell what is going to happen in the future.

It looks likely that the State Pension age will continue to rise; how far and when is not yet clear. The other unknown factor is how much you will receive. The government’s ‘triple lock pledge’ promises that the State Pension will increase each year in line with whichever is highest: average earnings, inflation, or a minimum of 2.5%. But nothing is certain, especially in the wake of Covid-19.

So this looks like a good time to check your pension pot and see how well served you will be by your savings in retirement, and what you need to do to make sure that you can live comfortably.

For younger people, the earlier you start thinking about a pension the better – after all, if the State Pension age continues to rise, you may not be able to claim that until you are 70 or older. It makes sense to ensure that your private pension will provide you with enough cash for the life you wish to lead.

Whether you need to ensure that your pension is going to be sufficient to see you through retirement, or you want to look at setting up a pension, the best place to start is with a discussion with a financial adviser.

If you would like to discuss pensions or any other financial matters, we will be happy to help. Please contact us without obligation.

Established in Berkshire in 2004, J Finance Ltd is one of the leading financial planning companies in the area. We serve clients across England and Wales. If you would like to discuss this subject or any other financial matter, please contact us on 01635 521 300 or email contact@jfinance.co.uk.