As most people are aware entitlement to the state pension is linked to the amount of National Insurance contributions you have made.

Since 6 April 2016, people retiring on or after that date will need to have 35 qualifying years of National Insurance to be entitled to the full state pension on retirement.

It is possible to obtain a state pension forecast from HMRC using and this will tell you how many qualifying years you have.

If you have not previously paid enough contributions, it is possible to make voluntary contributions to make up the shortfall.

With effect from 6 April 2023 the time limit for which you are able to make contributions to fill in any gaps is reduced to 6 years. This means that in the 2023/24 tax year, it will be possible to make contributions going back to the 2017/18 tax year only.

Currently you can make voluntary contributions to make up the shortfall for any period from 6 April 2006 to now.

So, if you think that you may have a shortfall, because for example you have had gaps in your employment it may be worth checking your current entitlement to the state pension.

Of course, it may not always be beneficial to pay the additional contributions as you have to weigh up the additional cost against the additional benefit you will receive. There may be other, more beneficial ways, to fund your pension income, and as such we would always recommend that you speak to a suitably qualified financial advisor before making any additional contributions.

If you would like to discuss the above further or require any assistance in getting your state pension forecast please give us a call or drop us an e-mail.