Why can't I top up my pension?

Read this useful thread by @blue.peter https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6510290/state-pension-uprating/p1 - we are exactly the same age - 66 in November so realised I might be able to increase my pension

However can't see any option to do so ??

I gave up work April 2021 but paid enough NI that month for it to count for the year - this is my forecast from the Gov site:

Estimate based on your National Insurance record up to 5 April 2023

£185.38 a week

Forecast if you contribute until 5 April 2024

£191.20 a week

£191.20 is the most you can get

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Comments

  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,969 Forumite
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    So you're looking to pay for the contributions that weren't made in 22/23 and this tax year too?  As far as I'm aware you can but you need to do so by 6th April.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • blue.peter
    blue.peter Posts: 1,209 Forumite
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    I believe that it's intended that people should be able to do it online eventually, but that functionality hasn't yet been built.

    As things stand at present, you'll need to phone the Future Pension Centre (0800 731 0175). They'll talk you through the numbers and, if you want to go ahead, pass you on to HMRC who'll give you the necessary information to make payment. I was advised to phone them as soon as they opened, which I did on Monday 4 March, and it was all sorted in just over a quarter of an hour.

    If you check your NI record online, it'll tell you how much each missing year of NI conts will cost. There was some variation, but mine were around £800 each. I bought three years (out of the eight that I'm missing) for £2,420.60, and it increased my state pension from £184.75/week to £202.22/week (2023-2024 values).
  • Dazed_and_C0nfused
    Dazed_and_C0nfused Posts: 13,431 Forumite
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    Read this useful thread by @blue.peter https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6510290/state-pension-uprating/p1 - we are exactly the same age - 66 in November so realised I might be able to increase my pension

    However can't see any option to do so ??

    I gave up work April 2021 but paid enough NI that month for it to count for the year - this is my forecast from the Gov site:

    Estimate based on your National Insurance record up to 5 April 2023

    £185.38 a week

    Forecast if you contribute until 5 April 2024

    £191.20 a week

    £191.20 is the most you can get


    What does your NI record show?

    Could you somehow have received credits which added 2022-23 as a qualifying year?
  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Posts: 5,565 Forumite
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    actually it is saying that 21/22 and 22/23 are not full and

    "We are checking this year to see if it counts towards your pension. We’ll update your record when this is finished, you do not need to do anything." 

    - so I suppose they might offer the option of me be able to top up ... when they have had a look.

    Somebody must be looking at my record  as I have  just had a form regarding paying too much NI in 12/13 and 15/16 so I might get a refund
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,800 Forumite
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    edited 16 March at 4:48PM
    actually it is saying that 21/22 and 22/23 are not full and

    "We are checking this year to see if it counts towards your pension. We’ll update your record when this is finished, you do not need to do anything." 

    Were you self employed during those years ? That seems a common reason for seeing a statement like that...

    there appears to be a difference between your case and that of blue_peter's that you quoted, in that their forecast said there were shortfalls that could be filled to increase their amount, but yours does not appear to suggest that. 

    Don't assume that two people of the same age will necessarily be entitled to exactly the same amount as each other at present. Transitional rules take into account all the past nuances such as SERPS/S2P, contracting in and out etc that the new state pension did away with, and this means that different people may get differing amounts (or require a different number of years to get the same amount). 
  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Posts: 5,565 Forumite
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    fair enough, I wasn't self employed, was employed until the end of  April 20  (duh just realised I said I worked until April 21, it was April 20 - so 20/21 was full)  and then retired and haven't worked since.

    I suppose I was just surprised that there weren't any comments on my record about paying for 21/22 and 22/23 but if I have got the max I can without paying any more then I am quite happy 
  • Dazed_and_C0nfused
    Dazed_and_C0nfused Posts: 13,431 Forumite
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    actually it is saying that 21/22 and 22/23 are not full and

    "We are checking this year to see if it counts towards your pension. We’ll update your record when this is finished, you do not need to do anything." 

    - so I suppose they might offer the option of me be able to top up ... when they have had a look.

    Somebody must be looking at my record  as I have  just had a form regarding paying too much NI in 12/13 and 15/16 so I might get a refund
    Three additional (post 2016) years looks to be the optimal value for money wide.

    Starting from £185.38 then three post 2016 years will take you to £202.85 with a fourth year only adding the final £1/week.
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,800 Forumite
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    fair enough, I wasn't self employed, was employed until the end of  April 20  (duh just realised I said I worked until April 21, it was April 20 - so 20/21 was full)  and then retired and haven't worked since.

    I suppose I was just surprised that there weren't any comments on my record about paying for 21/22 and 22/23 but if I have got the max I can without paying any more then I am quite happy 
    Well, if those years (and also 23/24) aren't showing as full then it doesn't sound as if you are potentially getting the max you could. 

    In your shoes I'd be checking your forecast regularly to see if the comment for those years changes, and if it doesn't, try chasing it up with DWP / HMRC - ideally before you reach State Pension Age, as after that your online forecast will no longer be available to you and topping up apparently gets slow and messy....  
  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 31,829 Forumite
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    I would chase HMRC sooner rather than later as I doubt those years will change status until the final reconciliation prior to your pension date.
  • blue.peter
    blue.peter Posts: 1,209 Forumite
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    Well, if those years (and also 23/24) aren't showing as full then it doesn't sound as if you are potentially getting the max you could. 

    I'm not sure that that necessarily follows. I've now got five years that aren't full, but I'd only need to pay a single year's voluntary NI conts to get my maximum state pension. What am I missing?

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