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  • FIRST POST
    • Peter Kendrick
    • By Peter Kendrick 11th Aug 19, 2:48 PM
    • 105Posts
    • 16Thanks
    Peter Kendrick
    Check your State Pension error
    • #1
    • 11th Aug 19, 2:48 PM
    Check your State Pension error 11th Aug 19 at 2:48 PM
    For several years I have monitored my State Pension forecast on the government website. I last checked on 24 June 2019 and took a screenshot. It said that I could get my State Pension on 6 September 2019 and my forecast was 168.60 per week. It clearly stated that if I was working I may still need to pay NI contributions until 6 September. I am not working and it made no mention of what to do in these circumstances.

    I have just received a letter from DWP stating I will get a pension of 134.76 per week. I have checked the forecast online and it has been changed. I am devastated as it is 33.84p per week less than what I have been advised for the last few years, around 20% less.

    Is it a mistake or is the Government forecast website not fit for purpose? What can I do?
Page 2
    • jazzy
    • By jazzy 12th Aug 19, 5:17 PM
    • 904 Posts
    • 200 Thanks
    jazzy
    The state pension forecast also gives an amount for "Estimate based on your National Insurance record up to 5 April 2018" or 2019 if you made no more contributions. What is that amount?
    Originally posted by jamesd


    Not sure why this amount is lower than the pension forecast because I have 41 years of confirmed full years on NIC? There will also be an extra year on NIC before I reach state pension age, April 2019-April 2020.
  • jamesd
    What that means is that as of April you'd paid in enough to get to 165.27 and need another "full year" to get to 168.60. A full year means one that counted towards the basic state pension and now the single tier state pension. Work, benefits or class 3 NI buying will do the job.

    I'm quite surprised by the low COPE and state pension years and amount combination. Do you have any other workplace pensions? Or maybe did mostly part time and low paid work?
    • DairyQueen
    • By DairyQueen 12th Aug 19, 6:03 PM
    • 879 Posts
    • 1,617 Thanks
    DairyQueen

    Not sure why this amount is lower than the pension forecast because I have 41 years of confirmed full years on NIC? There will also be an extra year on NIC before I reach state pension age, April 2019-April 2020.
    Originally posted by jazzy
    Probably because you were contracted out. Only those who begin their working lives subsequent to the 2016 implementation of the nSP will require 35 years. The rest of us are in transition and may need more or less than 35 years.

    The good news for you is that you will qualify for the maximum regardless, plus you should have an additional pot (or DB benefits) in addition (for the years that you were contracted-out).
    • Peter Kendrick
    • By Peter Kendrick 16th Aug 19, 1:24 PM
    • 105 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Peter Kendrick
    Contacted DWP and HMRC yesterday to find out why my online state pension forecast was incorrect. As I have discovered through research on this site they had not taken my contracted out status into account. They both blamed each other and said they were unaware of my contracted out status when the forecast was published...BUT THEY WERE!!!

    Anyway, I can now pay the following shortfalls in NI contributions to get an extra 13.50 per week:
    2016-2017 780
    2017-2018 741
    2018-2019 761.80
    Total 2282.80
    What further annoys me is that had I known this a few months ago I could have saved money before the contribution price went up.

    The pension forecast website in my case has been a complete and utter con and I understand that thousands of other people have been given erroneous forecasts. It should be taken down until such time that they can give people an accurate forecast of their state pension.
    • grnglide
    • By grnglide 16th Aug 19, 1:34 PM
    • 135 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    grnglide
    All that HMRC can do (in the online forecast) or DWP can do (via the Future Pension centre) is provide a forecast using the data that is held by HMRC. If that data is wrong or incomplete then the forecast will be inaccurate. If the data is inconsistent the the forecast could be "interesting".


    Hundreds of millions of records accumulate over 45 years or more - what can possibly go wrong!
    • SeeMe
    • By SeeMe 16th Aug 19, 1:43 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    SeeMe

    Anyway, I can now pay the following shortfalls in NI contributions to get an extra 13.50 per week:
    2016-2017 780
    2017-2018 741
    2018-2019 761.80
    Total 2282.80
    .
    Originally posted by Peter Kendrick

    I paid for the year 2016/2017 and almost sure i paid 733 or very close to it?
    • molerat
    • By molerat 16th Aug 19, 1:46 PM
    • 21,169 Posts
    • 15,401 Thanks
    molerat
    I paid for the year 2016/2017 and almost sure i paid 733 or very close to it?
    Originally posted by SeeMe
    733.20 - that would have been before April 19, less than 2 years after the end of the year in question, after which the price went up to the current year price.
    Last edited by molerat; 16-08-2019 at 1:48 PM.
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    • SeeMe
    • By SeeMe 16th Aug 19, 3:20 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    SeeMe
    733.20 - that would have been before April 19, less than 2 years after the end of the year in question, after which the price went up to the current year price.
    Originally posted by molerat

    Oh i see i did pay before April 19.
  • jamesd
    What further annoys me is that had I known this a few months ago I could have saved money before the contribution price went up.
    Originally posted by Peter Kendrick
    Try complaining that you lost the opportunity because of the misleading information and ask them as redress to either permit the lower price or pay the cost difference.
    • daddydodo
    • By daddydodo 19th Aug 19, 11:55 AM
    • 45 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    daddydodo
    Crikey I thought I was understanding all this but now I am very confused.
    My recent SP forecast of last week is
    168.60 @ 2032
    156.31 @ 5-Apr-19
    States that I need 3 more years NI contributions to get to 168.30

    I have never been in SERPS and my COPE estimate is 61.64/week. Does my COPE element subtract from my State Pension forecast? I have read and re-read my forecast and I can interpret it as either -
    1. My SP is paid regardless of my COPE
    2. My SP is paid at a lower level due to being contracted out

    Could someone offer an opinion pls.......
    • molerat
    • By molerat 19th Aug 19, 12:17 PM
    • 21,169 Posts
    • 15,401 Thanks
    molerat
    COPE can be forgotten about for all real life purposes. It was only ever used in the 2016 starting amount calculation of which was the higher amount, the old n/30ths + S2P or the new n/35ths-COPE. This thread is mainly about those where the COPE figure has been ignored in that calculation. What you see is what you will get, your 2 figures show what you can get and what you have already got.
    Last edited by molerat; 19-08-2019 at 12:20 PM.
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    • DBdoobydoo
    • By DBdoobydoo 19th Aug 19, 12:51 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    DBdoobydoo
    Crikey I thought I was understanding all this but now I am very confused.
    My recent SP forecast of last week is
    168.60 @ 2032
    156.31 @ 5-Apr-19
    States that I need 3 more years NI contributions to get to 168.30

    I have never been in SERPS and my COPE estimate is 61.64/week. Does my COPE element subtract from my State Pension forecast? I have read and re-read my forecast and I can interpret it as either -
    1. My SP is paid regardless of my COPE
    2. My SP is paid at a lower level due to being contracted out

    Could someone offer an opinion pls.......
    Originally posted by daddydodo
    You must have been in SERPS/S2P at some stage otherwise there would not be a figure for a COPE.

    When I took my pension last year I was expecting to only get about 10 more than the old state pension as I had thirty years before 2016 & only a couple of years post 2016. I worked abroad for fifteen years & even with buying added years I only had 34 years contributions in total. I'm actually receiving 140/week so must be getting about 10/week from SERPS.

    As far as I know I only had a period of four years (1979-1982) when I was in SERPS. My COPE was about 70 which seems a large sum for just four years of SERPS. During that period I was originally contracted out but then under the rules at the time I had my contributions returned when I left the employer & was therefore put back into SERPS. As far as I am aware at all other times I was contracted out. I haven't liked to ask too many questions as if there has been a mistake it's been in my favour
    • molerat
    • By molerat 19th Aug 19, 1:05 PM
    • 21,169 Posts
    • 15,401 Thanks
    molerat
    You must have been in SERPS/S2P at some stage otherwise there would not be a figure for a COPE.

    When I took my pension last year I was expecting to only get about 10 more than the old state pension as I had thirty years before 2016 & only a couple of years post 2016. I worked abroad for fifteen years & even with buying added years I only had 34 years contributions in total. I'm actually receiving 140/week so must be getting about 10/week from SERPS.

    As far as I know I only had a period of four years (1979-1982) when I was in SERPS. My COPE was about 70 which seems a large sum for just four years of SERPS. During that period I was originally contracted out but then under the rules at the time I had my contributions returned when I left the employer & was therefore put back into SERPS. As far as I am aware at all other times I was contracted out. I haven't liked to ask too many questions as if there has been a mistake it's been in my favour
    Originally posted by DBdoobydoo
    Contracted Out Pension Equivalent is a figure derived from when you were contracted out from, so not in, SERPS/S2P.
    Last edited by molerat; 19-08-2019 at 1:12 PM.
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    • daddydodo
    • By daddydodo 19th Aug 19, 1:30 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    daddydodo
    COPE can be forgotten about for all real life purposes. It was only ever used in the 2016 starting amount calculation of which was the higher amount, the old n/30ths + S2P or the new n/35ths-COPE. This thread is mainly about those where the COPE figure has been ignored in that calculation. What you see is what you will get, your 2 figures show what you can get and what you have already got.
    Originally posted by molerat
    Thank you molerat that's good. However it does seem quite fortunate in my favour as all the little bits of NI contributions re-directed into my separate personal pension means I now have a lumpsum around 60k extra, above and beyond an almost max SP.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 19th Aug 19, 2:39 PM
    • 30,888 Posts
    • 19,082 Thanks
    xylophone
    You must have been in SERPS/S2P at some stage otherwise there would not be a figure for a COPE.
    Should read

    You must have been contracted out of SERPS/S2P at some stage otherwise there would not be a figure for a COPE
    • DairyQueen
    • By DairyQueen 19th Aug 19, 4:09 PM
    • 879 Posts
    • 1,617 Thanks
    DairyQueen
    You must have been in SERPS/S2P at some stage otherwise there would not be a figure for a COPE.

    ...

    As far as I know I only had a period of four years (1979-1982) when I was in SERPS. My COPE was about 70 which seems a large sum for just four years of SERPS.
    Originally posted by DBdoobydoo
    COPE = Contracted-Out Pension Equivalent. The 70 is a notional amount calculated to represent the long periods when you were not participating in SERPS/S2P. This is the opposite of your understanding.

    Your long period of contracting-out is therefore accurately represented by a largish COPE value.
    • DBdoobydoo
    • By DBdoobydoo 19th Aug 19, 4:34 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    DBdoobydoo
    Thanks for the corrections. I thought that I had finally understood how my state pension had been calculated but it seems I was wrong It now makes sense that the extra 10/week or so that I have above the basic state pension in 2016 was down to four years of SERPS in 1979-1982.
    • bonnyrigger
    • By bonnyrigger 19th Aug 19, 4:43 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    bonnyrigger
    Just re-checked my SP forecast today, shows 165.06 current and 168.60 with one more year. There is a COPE of 44.34. My question is if I work for 5 more years (I'm 57 planning to retire at 62), will that COPE figure reduce as I am adding non-contracted out years or am I fundamentally mis-understanding how it works? I'd like to know what my exactly what my "in my hand" SP is going to be not bits paid in other pensions.
    • DBdoobydoo
    • By DBdoobydoo 19th Aug 19, 4:49 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    DBdoobydoo
    Just re-checked my SP forecast today, shows 165.06 current and 168.60 with one more year. There is a COPE of 44.34. My question is if I work for 5 more years (I'm 57 planning to retire at 62), will that COPE figure reduce as I am adding non-contracted out years or am I fundamentally mis-understanding how it works? I'd like to know what my exactly what my "in my hand" SP is going to be not bits paid in other pensions.
    Originally posted by bonnyrigger
    With my newfound understanding of how this all works I think that can now answer you.

    The maximum state pension you can receive is 168.60 (at current values). The COPE figure is irrelevant as it's a theoretical figure calculated to get the transition between the old pension with SERPS/S2P & the new single tier pension.
    • DairyQueen
    • By DairyQueen 19th Aug 19, 5:23 PM
    • 879 Posts
    • 1,617 Thanks
    DairyQueen
    Just re-checked my SP forecast today, shows 165.06 current and 168.60 with one more year. There is a COPE of 44.34. My question is if I work for 5 more years (I'm 57 planning to retire at 62), will that COPE figure reduce as I am adding non-contracted out years or am I fundamentally mis-understanding how it works? I'd like to know what my exactly what my "in my hand" SP is going to be not bits paid in other pensions.
    Originally posted by bonnyrigger
    You are not adding 'non-contacted-out years' as SERPS/S2P ended in 2016. The COPE figure represents the notional amount calculated for the years that you were contracted out up to 2016. It is only relevant to the starting amount calculated for you in 2016. Since then, only years of NI contributions/credits will count towards your 2016 starting amount.

    According to your forecast, you have 'banked' 165.06 up to the tax year ending Apr 2019. If you earn a full year's NI contributions this tax year then you should hit the max nSP in Apr 2020. In addition, you will have benefits under a DB scheme, or a DC pot, earned from your years of contracting-out.

    The COPE value will only change if DWP receive updates from your pre-2016 employers that impact your record prior to 2016. This is affecting some people as DWP have just competed a big reconciliation with employer historical records up to the 2016 starting date.

    If the COPE value changes then the 2016 starting amount could also change. If this happens then your NI record, subsequent to the 2016 start date, will be reapplied to the new starting value. This can (and has) affected some people's forecasts since 2016. Some (like me) have seen an increase, others have seen a decrease.

    Bottom line is that the forecast can't be 100% relied upon but, following the recent reconciliation, should be much more accurate as anomalies are corrected. The majority of people will not suffer a recalculation of their starting amount and their forecast will not change.
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