When preparing a client’s annual self-assessment tax return, where applicable, we recommend that they get a state pension forecast so that they are aware of what state pension they may be entitled to when they reach state pension age.

It is also an opportunity to highlight any shortfall in the pension they may get, so they can either make additional national insurance contributions to top up their state pension or make alternative arrangements to ensure they can be comfortable in their retirement.

Recently, it has come to light that around 3% of online state pension forecasts were incorrect.  It appears that online forecasts are inconsistent with previous written forecasts that people may have received due to inaccurate data held by HMRC. This is especially the case if you have had a complex employment history.

This is a worry, given that people may have made decisions about their retirement based on the online forecasts received.

If you have any concerns over the accuracy of your state pension forecast you should address these concerns sooner rather than later.

If you have received an online forecast, you may want to consider getting a written version, which will hopefully be more accurate.