STATE pension age is gradually being increased by the government and the next raise will arrive next month. It is being increased incrementally and it will eventually be 66 for everyone by October 2020.
State pension payments can be received by anyone who has at least 10 years of National Insurance contributions and has reached state pension age. Over the last year or so, state pension age has been changed for some people every two months and the next change is arriving in July.
From July 6, anyone born between August 6 1954 and September 5 1954 will see their state pension age increase from 65 to 66.
There is one more change scheduled after this in September.
From October, everyone will reach state pension age on their 66th birthday.
With all the rule changes on state pension age some people may feel unsure about when they can retire but thankfully, the government has tools in place to help.
On the government’s website there is a state pension age checker tool which will provide users with an exact date of when they can retire.
On top of this, the tool can inform people of their pension credit qualifying age and when they’ll be eligible for free bus travel.
To start with, the tool will ask the user to enter their date of birth.
The next question asks if the user is a man or woman.
These are the only questions asked and the final screen will detail the exact date that the user will reach state pension age.
Under current plans, state pension age will increase to 68 in the coming years and it may be raised beyond this.
It should be noted that a state pension will not pay out automatically.
State pensions need to be claimed and if they are not they will automatically be deferred.
People should receive a letter from the government no later than two months before reaching their state pension age telling them what to do.
If this letter is not received, for any reason, a person can still claim it so long as they’re within four months of reaching state pension age.
There are multiple methods for claiming a state pension but the government detail that claiming it online is the quickest route.
To get started with this, the claimant will need certain details ready.
To apply for a state pension online, a person will need:
The date of their most recent marriage, civil partnership or divorce
The dates of any time spent living or working abroad
Personal or joint bank or building society details
If a person can’t, or doesn’t wish to, apply online they can also claim their state pension over the phone or by downloading a claim form and sending it to a local pension centre.