How to increase your state pension and regain control of your retirement plans.

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STATE PENSION is a vital part of pensioners’ income in retirement, but many Britons have no idea when they will receive it or how much they will get.

Fortunately, there are services available which can help people find out more about their retirement prospects and many ways to potentially boost one’s state pension. From Child Benefit to Pension Credit, there are plenty of options and no reason for people to receive less than they deserve.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown has explained five methods which could help Britons boost their pension.

Ms Morrissey advised people to use the state pension forecast tool to find out if they can increase their pension. It is a free to use Government service.

She said: “Go online and check your state pension entitlement on Check your State Pension forecast. This will also tell you your state pension age.”

“Women in particular miss out on valuable state pension credits when they are at home looking after children. However, if they claim Child Benefit, they will receive NI credits that count towards their state pension.

“Many women have missed out on this in the past because their husband claimed the Child Benefit rather than them. Others missed out when they opted out of Child Benefit after the introduction of the high-income child benefit tax charge. If you claim Child Benefit in your name, then you will get the NI credit towards your pension.”

“Are you under state pension age and looking after a family member under the age of 12 while their parent or main carer goes back to work? If this is the case, you could qualify for NI credits under Specified Adult Childcare Credit as the working parent essentially transfers their NI credit to you.”

“If you can spare the cash, you can plug gaps in your NI record by buying voluntary class 3 NI contributions. Buying a full extra year for £800 will boost your pension by £4.80 a week, equivalent to about £250 a year and you can typically buy up to six years’ worth.”

“If you’re over state pension age and on a low income then you should check whether you are eligible for Pension Credit. Pension Credit tops up your weekly income to £177.10 if you’re single and £270.30 in joint income if you. “Brinkwire Summary News”.

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