Work and Pensions Committee call for State Pension Hotline service
The Work and Pensions Committee have urged the Government to write to those individuals it projects will reach pension age with fewer than 10 qualifying years and thus fail to qualify for the new state pension.
The Government has agreed to write directly to some 100,000 people who do not meet the Minimum Qualifying Period for the new state pension.
The committee invites the Government to introduce a new State Pension telephone hotline service for those who receive such letters. The service, it suggests, should be there to offer the opportunity for claimants to discuss strategy with an expert for increasing their State Pension entitlement. It is proposed that this hotline could be another part of the already existing pensions guidance service.
The Committee stated: “These letters should clearly explain the person’s circumstances and set out both projected entitlements and means of improving them.”
The committee further recommended that: “ …the department work with pension providers to write similarly to individuals who built up a guaranteed minimum pension during the period 1978 to 1988.”
International pensions and asset management company Aegon welcome the Government’s decision; Steven Cameron, Pensions Director said: “We warmly welcome the Government having agreed to write individually to the 100,000 estimated individuals who don’t have sufficient NI contributions to qualify for the new state pension. It is vital that this group understands this as early as possible rather than facing the shock at state pension age.”
Individual personalised forecasts:
Steven Cameron, goes on to suggest that the Government could go much further in its provision of service to the individuals affected: “We urge the Government to write directly to every individual to provide them with an estimate of what state pension they are on target to receive. This should then be updated periodically. While people can now request a projection, the majority will not think of doing so. Sending out individual personalised state pension forecasts would mean individuals could look at these alongside their private pension forecasts, take stock of whether they are doing enough for the retirement they aspire to.”
You’ll usually need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any State Pension. They don’t have to be 10 qualifying years in a row.
This means for 10 years at least one or more of the following applied to you:
- you were working and paid National Insurance contributions
- you were getting National Insurance credits, eg for unemployment, sickness or as a parent or carer
- you were paying voluntary National Insurance contributionsYou might also qualify if you’ve paid married women’s or widow’s reduced rate contributions.
- for the new state pension.
- If you’ve lived or worked abroad you might still be able to get some new State Pension.