Martin Lewis discusses state pension underpayments
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State pension age changes have been introduced several times in recent years and they’re set to be raised over the coming decades. Currently, the UK state pension age is 66 but it will rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028.
Beyond this, it is planned to reach 68 by 2046.
On April 9, the Government released a research paper comparing pension systems between the UK and international countries and within this report, it was shown that British retirees have to wait longer to receive their state entitlement than many of its European neighbours.
The lowest state pension age can be found in Slovenia, Austria and Poland, where they can be claimed from the age of 60.
It should be noted however that there are a small number of countries where the state pension age in 2021 is higher than the UKs.
Pension ages vary across the EU (Image: GETTY)
The full list of state pension ages in EU member states for 2021 is as follows:
- Belgium – 65
- Bulgaria – 66y 8m
- Czech Republic – 63y 10m
- Denmark – 67
- Germany – 65y 9m
- Estonia – 64
- Ireland – 66
- Greece – 67
- Spain – 66
- France – 66y 7m
- Croatia – 65 for men, 62y 9m for women
- Italy – 67
- Cyprus – 65
- Latvia – 64
- Lithuania – 64y 2m for men, 63y 4m for women
- Luxembourg – 65
- Hungary – 65
- Malta – 63
- Netherlands – 66y 4m
- Austria – 65 for men, 60 for women
- Poland – 65 for men, 60 for women
- Portugal – 66y6m
- Romania – 65 for men, 61y 6-9m for women
- Slovenia – 60-66
- Slovakia – 62y 8-10m
- Finland – 63y 9m-68y
- Sweden – 62-68
- UK – 66
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In the UK, to be eligible for a state pension a person will need to have at least 10 years of qualifying National Insurance contributions under their belt.
To receive the full amount of £179.60 per week, at least 35 years will be needed.
It should be noted that even where a person qualifies, they will not receive a state pension automatically.
They will need to be claimed and this can be done online, over the phone or through the post.
State pensions in the UK can be cliamed from the age of 66 (Image: EXPRESS)
State pensions can be claimed up to four months before reaching state pension age.
Initial payments may come through within five weeks of reaching state pension age, so long as they’re actually claimed.
Beyond this, payments will arrive once every four weeks into an account of the claimants choosing.
Should a person not be ready to retire, they can defer claiming their state pension which could increase the payments down the line.
State pensions will increase, even beyond the full amount, so long as they are deferred for at least nine weeks.
The payments will increase by the equivalent of one percent for every nine weeks of deferment.
This equates to just under 5.8 percent for every 52 weeks.
The extra amounts from this will be paid with the regular state pension payments when they’re eventually claimed.
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