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Your state pension is changing ADVERTISING FEATURE.

THE State Pension is a regular payment from the government most of us can claim when we reach State Pension age. It is part of the National Insurance (NI) system.

On 6 April 2016, the new State Pension will be introduced for women born on or after 6 April 1953, and men born on or after 6 April 1951. The new State Pension system will make State Pensions less complicated in the future.

If you were born before these dates, you'll continue to receive your State Pension under the current system, even if you defer claiming it.

State Pension ages are also changing. By 2018, women's State Pension age will rise to 65, and by 2020 both men's and women's State Pension age will have increased to 66. By 2028, both men's and women's State Pension age will have increased to 67. You can check yours by searching for 'State Pension age calculator' on GOV.UK.

HOW MUCH STATE PENSION WILL I GET? This will depend on your NI record so not everyone will get the same amount.

You'll normally need at least 10 qualifying years to get any new State Pension. These can be from before or after 6 April 2016, and don't have to be 10 years in a row.

For most people, each extra year added to their NI record from April 2016 will add 1/35th of PS155.65 (the 2016/17 rate) to their future new State Pension, until they reach State Pension age or the full rate.

No one who qualifies for the new State Pension should get less than they would have received under the old system, based on their own contributions to April 2016.

WHAT IF YOU ARE OR WERE IN A 'CONTRACTED?OUT' PRIVATE PENSION SCHEME? If you are or were in a salary-related pension scheme at work (for example, 'final salary' or 'career average'), or you were in another type of pension scheme at work before April 2012, you are likely to have been 'contracted-out' of the Additional State Pension (this is part of the current State Pension system).

Some stakeholder and personal pension schemes were also 'contracted-out'.

If you have been contracted-out of the Additional State Pension this means you paid less into the NI system and built up some private pension instead to replace part of your State Pension.

The lower NI you (and your employer) paid to the State at that time, reflected the fact that you opted out of some of the State Pension.

Your private pension should include an amount that, in most cases, will be at least equivalent to the Additional State Pension you contracted-out of.

The actual amount you'll receive from your contracted-out pension scheme will depend on the scheme.

HOW CAN I INCREASE MY STATE PENSION? You may be able to increase your new State Pension if: ? You can pay voluntary contributions to fill gaps you may have for recent years on your NI record.

Check your position before you do this to ensure you can benefit. ? You are working and paying NI contributions. ? You choose to defer claiming your new State Pension when you reach State Pension age.

Not everyone can defer - please check whether you are eligible. ? You receive NI credits which can help fill gaps in your NI record.

NATIONAL INSURANCE CREDITS THAT YOU MIGHT GET You can get credits in various circumstances which might include: ? Caring for one or more disabled people, for at least 20 hours a week. ? Receiving certain benefits, such as Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Carer's Allowance. ? Caring for a grandchild or other family member under age 12.

Find out what this means for you by visiting If you are aged 55 or over you can ask for a State Pension statement for an estimate of your new State Pension.
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Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Feb 29, 2016
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