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Pensions Guide State Pensions-e2140

Posted on June 17, 2018 by hanson

The most important financial decisions you’re likely to make in your life are those concerning your retirement. To have a secure future with a comfortable standard of living after you’ve stopped working, you’ll need to plan your finances carefully. Pensions are becoming more and more important as people now live longer into their retirement. Lifestyles have also changed people often take out mortgages later in life than they used to, meaning that they may still have a mortgage to repay when they stop working. And as people are experiencing better health and longer retirements, they want to have a reasonable disposable income in order to enjoy more leisure activities in their later years. This is the first of two guides outlining the fundamentals of pensions. It’ll help you understand more about state pensions and how they are calculated. The second guide focuses on private pension schemes. These articles do not constitute financial advice and should only be used as an introductory informational guide to pensions. For advice on how to plan your finances for your future, seek professional advice from an independent financial advisor. Definition First, back to basics what is a pension? It’s a regular source of tax-free income for you to live on when you retire. As contributions towards your pension fund during your working life also receive tax relief, it’s a more tax-efficient than other methods of saving. The government department responsible for managing and administering state pensions and other pensions related benefits is The Pension Service, which is part of the Department of Work and Pensions. State pension The government provides a state pension, which can be claimed by men over the age of 65 and women over the age of 60 (although this will increase to 65 in line with the male pension age by 2020). Not everyone qualifies for a state pension, and even those who do will receive different incomes depending on their working history. Entitlement is calculated according to the number of national insurance contributions (NICs) you (or your partner/spouse) have paid, which are converted into qualifying years’. You’ll need to have worked and paid contributions for around 90% of your adult working life in order to receive the full state pension. If you’ve been out of work for long periods in order to bring up a family or look after someone, you’ll be compensated for missing NICs through Home Responsibilities Protection’. If you’ve been out of work for other reasons and have been claiming benefits such as jobseeker’s allowance, or income support, the government will have paid your NICs on your behalf for the period(s) in which you claimed benefit. The minimum you need to get the basic state pension is 25% of the qualifying years. If you have anywhere between the minimum and maximum amount of qualifying years, the amount you receive in your state pension will be adjusted in relation to how many qualifying years you have, so the more you have, the better. Those who have less than 25% of qualifying years won’t be able to claim any state pension at all, although there are other government pension benefits to assist those on low incomes in retirement, such as pension credits or the Over 80 pension. Additional state pension schemes In addition to the basic state pension, the government has a top-up scheme to enable people to increase the amount of pension income they receive. SERPS (State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme) Until April 2002, SERPS was the government’s second pension scheme, which allowed anyone earning more than 75 per week to make additional NICs. The level of NICs paid was earnings-related. However, the government deemed SERPS unfair on people with low incomes and those with big gaps in their employment history, so it was crapped and replaced with the Second State Pension in 2002 with the aim of allowing everyone to save more for their retirement. SERPS gave the option of contracting out’, which could be done for one of two reasons: in order not to pay the additional NICs, or to put the additional NICs towards a private pension fund. Second State Pension People who were paying into SERPS will now be paying into the second state pension and may therefore receive their additional state pension from two different sources when they retire. The Second State Pension is still linked to earnings. However, it’s calculated in a way that provides better support to those on low incomes, or people who don’t have constant work because of illness or disability. In these cases, the government tops up their credits to a flat rate of 12,100, so they will receive NICs as if they had earned an annual salary up to this amount. As with SERPS, it’s possible to contract out’ of the Second State Pension, either to stop paying the additional NICs or to put them towards your own pension fund. Finding out how much your state benefits are worth To help you plan your savings towards your retirement, the government offers state pension forecasts to let you see how much you’ll be likely to receive as retirement income. Visit the Government Pensions Service website for more information (.thepensionservice.gov.uk). 相关的主题文章: