The state pension increases every year under the triple locking mechanism. The way it works is that the payment increases each year according to the highest percentage of average wage growth (in Britain), the percentage of price growth in the UK as measured by the price index at consumption (CPI) and 2.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the basic state pension currently pays £134.25 a week at the full rate.
This will increase in April to £137.60 per week.
However, despite the increase in the triple lock, there are various reasons why someone may not benefit from the new full rate.
What a person can receive is based on their national insurance record, and the requirements differ depending on whether the person is eligible for the basic state pension or the new state pension.
To obtain a state pension, a certain number of qualifying years must appear on one’s national insurance record.
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To get a new state pension, they will usually need at least 10 years of probation.
National insurance records also impact whether or not the person receives the full amount.
For the full basic state pension, the person needs a total of 30 years of national insurance contributions or credits.
Meanwhile, it takes 35 years of qualifying to get the new full state pension, if the person has not contributed to National Insurance or earned National Insurance credits before April 6, 2016.
Some may receive a higher amount than the new full state pension, and the government explains that this is if:
- They have more than a certain amount of supplementary state pension
- They postpone (delay) taking your state pension.
Some might end up receiving less if outsourced.
Given all the rules, it might seem easier to get a state pension forecast, showing how much you can get.
It is not a tool that can be used if a person is already receiving the state pension or has deferred their application.
The “Check your state pension forecast” service is available on the government website.
It can be used to determine how much state pension the user could get, when they can get it and how to increase it – if they can.
People who will reach the legal retirement age in more than 30 days can also request a forecast by mail.
Another factor that can impact the amount of state pension a person receives relates to where they live.
The annual state pension upgrade is not something some people living abroad can take advantage of.
It only increases each year if the person lives:
- The European Economic Area (EEA)
- Countries that have a social security agreement with the UK (but they cannot get raises in Canada or New Zealand).
“You won’t get annual increases if you live outside of these countries,” the government warns on its website.
“Your pension will increase at the current rate if you return to live in the UK.”