A State Pension forecast will give you an estimate of your State Pension. This is based on your current National Insurance contribution record.
Your projected State Pension at State Pension age is based on whether you continue to make National Insurance contributions (or receive National Insurance credits).
You should note that in 2016 the State Pension changed and arrangements were put in place to ensure that people will not get less than they would under the old system if using their own National Insurance record.
A State Pension forecast will also tell you whether you were ever contracted out of the additional State Pension under the old system.
If you were contracted out for a period of time this will show on your State Pension forecast as a ‘Contracted Out Pension Equivalent’ (COPE). This is the amount you would have received as an additional State Pension had you not contracted out, and therefore the COPE could reduce the amount of State Pension you receive even though you might have 35 or more qualifying years of National Insurance contributions.
You can ask for a State Pension forecast in three ways:
- Online: at GOV.UK website (you’ll need to create an account to prove your identity and be under State Pension age).
- By calling: 0800 731 0175 – or if phoning from abroad +44 191 218 3600. (This service is only available if you’re less than six months from your State Pension age).
- By post: by completing a BR19 form (which you can either complete online and print off or print and then hand write) and sending it to – The Pension Service 9, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton WV98 1LU. Get the form from the GOV.UK website
If you decide to make a one-off payment of voluntary contributions, or you want to pay quarterly when you get a bill, you’ll need to contact HMRC’s National Insurance office on 0300 200 3500 and ask for an 18-digit reference number.
If you’re not making National Insurance contributions and want to make voluntary contributions to ensure you don’t continually build up a gap in your National Insurance record, you can set up a Direct Debit to pay the money monthly.
For example, you might be employed but earning under £120 a week and not eligible for National Insurance credits. You don’t need to phone HMRC for a reference in this case.