Monday, 23 March 2009
Will I be smiling in 2029 ?
2029 ... seems a long way away ; I'll be 66 . So why do I need to know this ? Because that is the year / age I'll be pensionable . I've checked the fact of it with the Pension Service website , and after a hugely frustrating morning of jumping the mini hoops of "help" lines which lead no where fairly fast I have just applied for an online State Pension Forecast .
Now , before you think to yourself "this is the most boring blog post ever !" just take a second to really think about the future . I mean the long term future , which at my age is still hard to contemplate ! Eventually everybody's flow of income reduces to a mere trickle - unless you win the lottery . Not that likely in my case as I don't buy tickets ! So I need to check whether it's in my interests to buy extra years National Insurance Contributions to secure a basic state pension.
With apologies to readers outside the UK - I noticed an article in the Telegraph which stated that if you have under 10 years NI contributions it is well worth the investment of making up the years at £421.20 each , as after 10 years of payments you would receive 26% of the full Basic State Pension - worth £23.58 a week . The catch being (stay with me on this) that after April 6th this year each additional "yearly credit" will cost £626.60 . The government has cottoned on to the fact that at a staggering return on investment of 640 % plus they really would be giving away money to women , like myself , who elected to stay home with their children and not re-enter the work place . I think I qualified for Home Responsibilities Protection during this period - which protects up to 10 years pension credits whilst a non-worker is in receipt of Child Benefit for an under 12 child - but it's as clear as mud . Bureaucracy is a wonderful thing , and the British excel at it! Reminds me of The Circumlocution Offices in Little Dorrit . Every time one of the help lines "helpfully" cut me off I couldn't but wonder if "they" don't want us to know about pension provision etc. Bet I'll get the answers I need after the additional payments change to the higher rate :0(
On reading that back I agree ; it was the most boring blog post ever ... but maybe it will alert someone else to the possibility that there is a shortfall to their entitlements . After all , age will catch us all up won't it ? - ho hum .
To end on a less gloomy note ; the photo was taken for Teddy Bear Review's upcoming article on British bear artists .... and I'm holding one of the newest bears for Edwina's Friends ... so it's a sneak preview ! I absolutely loathe having my picture taken so I'd appreciate it if you scrinch your eyes up when looking at it .... maybe then I'll look pleasantly that much further away from my 66th birthday !!
T.T.F.N Ruth x
State pension forecast - www.pensionservice.gov.uk
Pensions advisory service - www.pensionsadvisoryservice.co.uk
Women and pensions helpline - 0845 600 0806