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  • Writer's pictureJames Kingston

The State Pension & the HMRC App

Updated: 1 day ago

As you progress through your working life, it's important for you to be aware of the potential benefits available to you upon retirement, and ensure you do what you can to maximise these benefits for when you become eligible.

The state pension is a main component of the retirement benefits available to us.

What is the State Pension

The state pension is payment made to most people in the UK when they reach the state pension age. The size of your state pension will depend on the level of tax, specifically National Insurance (NI) Contributions, paid to the Treasury over the course of your working life.

Note: NI is a tax being looked at by the Government at the moment. It has been deemed as an unfair double tax on the employed and self employed. The rates of NI have been slashed in the last year, and there is speculation that NI may be abolished all together. It's likely that if this does happen, that rates of tax in other areas will rise to pay for it. But it's aim is to make employment and self employment more attractive for the more than 9m 'economic inactive' working age people not in work in the UK.

The State Pension Age

This is the earliest point at which the state pension can be claimed. For those reaching retirement now, the state pension age is 66.

For those born after 5 April 1960, the state pension age will increase to 67 and it's likely to increase further.

The payments are not made automatically, you need to register a claim which you can do so here:

How much is it and when is it paid

The full amount is currently £221.20 per week or £11,502.40 for the year (24-25 tax year). Payments are made every 4 weeks.

The government have committed to what is known as the 'triple lock'. This is a commitment that the state pension will rise each year by the higher of:

  • Average wage increases

  • Inflation (defined by the Consumer Price Index)

  • 2.5%

This year, the State Pension increased 8.5% in April 2024 – from £203.85 to £221.20 per week. This represented the increase in average wages which outstripped the CPI inflation rate of 6.7%.

The full amount is only paid however, when you have a complete National Insurance Record.

National Insurance Record

This is a record of the number of National Insurance Qualifying Years you have contributed over the course of your working life.

A qualifying year is recorded when you have earned enough from employment or self employment income in the year. For employment this is defined as the lower earnings limit (24-25 - £6,396), for self employment its the small profits threshold (24-25 - £6,725).

You can also contribute an NI qualifying year by making voluntary (class 3) NI contributions, or if NI credits are granted for people who are in full time care roles for example.

State Pension Entitlement

To receive the maximum state pension, your NI record must hold at least 35 qualifying years. To receive the minimum state pension, your NI record must hold at least 10 qualifying years.

Your state pension would be pro-rated for qualifying years numbering between 10 and 35.

There are some circumstances where a person needs to contribute more than 35 qualifying years in order to gain the full state pension, for example if a portion of the old 'additional state pension' was contracted out.

How to check your National Insurance Record

You can check your NI record, and administer any gaps, via your personal tax account here. You will need your personal government gateway User ID and Password.

If you would like to discuss preparing for your state pension, please let me know.

The HMRC App

I'd strongly encourage you to download the new HMRC app which can be done so, along with a full tutorial here:

It enables you to view and action a range of things to do with your personal tax, including but not limited to:

  • Viewing your NI record

  • Viewing and maintaining your tax code

  • View your tax bills and when they're due

  • Set up payment plans

  • Communication preferences

If you need a hand gaining access to this, let me know.


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