State pension entitlement: Online tool shows if you can boost amount you can get | Personal Finance | Finance
Many Britons rely on the state pension to help pay for everyday needs, particularly with the rising cost of living. Fortunately, those who are not entitled to the full amount can take action to top up their National Insurance record and ensure they get the maximum payment.
The current full new state pension is £185.15 a week while the full basic state pension pays £141.85 a week.
These amounts will increase by 10.1 percent in April, with the full new state pension to pay £203.85 while those on the basic state pension will get £156.20 a week.
The basic state pension is open to men born before April 6, 1951, and women born before April 6, 1953. Those born after these dates get the new state pension.
But a person needs the full amount of qualifying years of National Insurance (NI) contributions to get the full payments.
READ MORE: Thousands of state pensioners get less than £100 a week but payment boost to come in April
A person typically needs 30 qualifying years to get the full basic state pension and 35 qualifying years to get the full new state pension.
Those who have gaps in their NI record can voluntarily buy credits to increase their pension payment.
A person can check their NI record using a tool on the Government website, which will show how much they have paid in and if they can top up their contributions.
People on certain benefits automatically get NI credits towards their state pension, such as claimants of Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit.
Parents who have children under 12 claiming child benefit should automatically receive NI credits.
Those on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) who are not in education or working 16 hours or more a week, should get credits automatically.
People who are unemployed and looking for work, but not on JSA have to contact their Jobcentre to get the credits.
Anyone who is unsure about their entitlement or who thinks they should have received NI credits can contact the DWP by calling 0300 200 3500.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in the Autumn Statement the triple lock would be restored, meaning the state pension would increase in line with inflation, at 10.1 percent.
The policy guarantees the state pension increases each year in line with the highest of 2.5 percent, the average rise in earnings or the rate of inflation.
The average earnings element was suspended last year with payments increasing by just 3.1 percent.
The new payments will be uprated at the start of the new tax year, on April 6, with many benefits including Universal Credit also to increase by 10.1 percent.