State Pension Increases and Forecast22-Nov-2016
In 2011. the government introduced a guarantee that the State pension will increase each year by whichever is the highest of three measures – increases in average earnings, the rate of inflation, and 2.5% – the so-called ‘triple lock’.
However, in the government’s currently straitened financial circumstances, this is seen no longer to be affordable, and it is likely to be replaced.
An influential committee of MPs has called on the government to scrap the triple lock and to replace it with a system under which an earnings link would be combined with an inflation-proofing underpin. Its suggestion is that a form of ‘double lock’ should be introduced under which the State pension would have a lower limit based on average earnings, but if inflation exceeded earnings growth, its purchasing power would be protected by price indexation.
Anyone below State pension age can obtain a forecast of their State pension by going to the government web site https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension
This will show each individual’s National Insurance record, the date from which the pension can be claimed, and how much it will be.
Those who reach State pension age after 6 April 2016 have a particular reason for obtaining a forecast, because this is the date from which the old basic State pension and Additional State Pension were replaced by the new flat-rate State pension.
To register for the on-line system, individuals need to have to hand their National Insurance number, a recent pay slip and their passport or form P60. Once logged on, the system will reveal the date of the enquirer’s entitlement to receive the State pension, their State pension age and the weekly, monthly and annual amount of the pension.
The breakdown of the individual’s NI record up to 6 April 2016 will be shown as a weekly payment, and this is used to calculate the entitlement under the new system.
In order to qualify for the full payment of £155.65 per week, individuals must have a complete record of NI contributions over 35 years.