The new single-tier system will pay a minimum of around £151.25 a week, with the final amount to be announced in the autumn.
Individuals will need at least 10 ‘qualifying years’ of national insurance contributions (NICs) to qualify for any state pension at all, and 35 qualifying years to receive the full amount.
For those in employment, a ‘qualifying year’ is where earnings exceed £155 per week from a single employer, or if the individual is self-employed and paying voluntary NICs.
For those not in work, the government offers national insurance credits for people who care for others or where people are claiming benefits for illness, disability, or unemployment. People can also fill gaps by paying voluntary NICs.
However, under the new system, due to a one-off deduction applied to anyone who has contracted out, not just those due to retire next year, there will be several years in which people will have had to buy NIC top-ups or work longer to qualify for the full rate. The window for top-ups is from 12 October 2015 to 1 April 2017.
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