Since the New Year, I have asked 12 clients and several friends how much they think that they are due go get from their State Pension. Only two of them were even slightly close.
One lady, ‘Senior Office Manager’, after working in the City for 24 years answered: “I know it’s a pathetic amount. I don’t even know what it is these days. I would say about £130 a month or something ridiculous”. When I told her what she was likely to get, she said with surprise: “That’s much better than I thought!”
Another person said with great confidence, “Well I know I won’t get anything from the State, because I have started my own Private Pension Plan.”
I have also asked the question: “Who is eligible for the State Pension?” Again, the response has been general fuzziness.
Bearing in mind that ‘retirement’ can last well over 35 years, I find this absolutely mind boggling. Since when did our own lives and our own finances become so unimportant?
Here are a few basic facts regarding the State Pension or ‘Old Age Pension’ as we know it.
- Full State Pension is currently £102.15 per week
- If you have paid National Insurance Contributions for 30 years, you will qualify for a full State Pension.
- If you do not have a ‘full’ National Insurance record, you will receive a proportion of your State Pension.
- If your Spouse has a full NI Contribution record, you will receive £61.20 per week on top – even if you have never been employed
- You can qualify for some State Pension if you are on Benefits
- State Pension age is on the move – likely signs are that it will be around 67 or 68 for most of our readers
- Making your own Personal Pension arrangements will not reduce your State Pension benefits. Everyone gets the same.
It’s no wonder that so many of us are so hazy regarding shelling out on our long term planning, if we don’t even know what we have in store!
Henrietta Oxlade is an Independent Financial Planner with Radcliffe & Newlands and MyFamilyClub’s in-house finance sage! She has been advising individual clients since March 1988, which is why many of her clients consider her part of the family. If you want to contact Henrietta, email us on [email protected] and we’ll put you in touch.