State pension UK: NI rules explained – your contributions may not be qualifying


State pension payments will be awarded to those who have collected a minimum of 10 years of qualifying NI contributions, with 35 needed for the full amount of £179.60 per week. These NI contributions can be built up by those who are working or who are unemployed.

For those who are not getting NI credits and are not working, it may be possible to boost an NI record by paying voluntary contributions.

It’s possible to get a state pension forecast which will tell people how much income they may get in retirement.

These forecasts can be applied for through the Government’s websites and once this is done, it will be possible to apply for a NI statement from HMRC to check if there are gaps in a record.

It should be noted where a claimant does qualify for a state pension, they will not receive income automatically, state pensions will have to be claimed.

Initial payments will come through within five weeks of reaching state pension age, so long as a claim is actually made.

Beyond this, payments will arrive once every four weeks into an account of the claimant’s choosing.

The actual payment day will depend on the claimant’s NI number, with the last two digits determining when payments arrive, as detailed below:

  • 00 to 19 – Monday
  • 20 to 39 – Tuesday
  • 40 to 59 – Wednesday
  • 60 to 79 – Thursday
  • 80 to 99 – Friday



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