From today, a new scheme is being launched helping anyone reaching State Pension age before 6 April 2016 to safeguard their long-term financial security.
The new 'State Pension top up' scheme allows people reaching state pension age before 6 April 2016 to top up their additional state pension by means of a new Class 3A voluntary National Insurance contribution. The class 3A contribution will be made in the form of a lump sum payment. Guidelines on how much the lump sum payment will yield can be found using the calculator at the following link:
Each class 3A contribution will result in the acquisition of a unit of extra pension that will increase the contributor’s additional state pension by £1 a week up to a cap of £25. It is being introduced as an option for existing pensioners to increase their state pensions, ahead of the introduction of the new State Pension in April 2016.
Those expected to benefit most are low-earning workers, carers and the self-employed, who have always been excluded from the state second pension and state earnings related pension scheme.
Class 3A will not replace the existing Class 3 Voluntary National Insurance Contributions, but will sit alongside it as an additional voluntary National Insurance.
People are eligible if they are entitled to a UK State Pension and have already reached their State Pension age or reach it before 6 April 2016. This includes men born before 6 April 1951 and woman born before 6 April 1953.
It is available from 12 October 2015 until 5 April 2017 and is an opportunity for people to increase their guaranteed retirement income for the years ahead.