Britons urged to check their state pension forecast as 1.75 million people get less than £100 a week

Person checking laptop

The full new state pension is currently £203.85 a week but people need enough qualifying years on their National Insurance record to get it

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 15/08/2023

- 12:32

12.6 million people got the state pension as of February 2023, of which 3.2 million get the new state pension, new Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures show

Britons are being urged to check to see if they are due to miss out on the full state pension by checking their state pension forecast and National Insurance record.

It comes as more than 1.75 million people get a state pension of less than £100 per week, the vast majority of which are women.

The full new state pension is currently £203.85 a week, and a person who didn’t make National Insurance contributions or get National Insurance credits before April 6, 2016, will need 35 qualifying years to get the full amount.

The full basic state pension is £156.20 per week. A man born between 1945 and 1951 will usually need 30 qualifying years, while it is 44 qualifying years for men born before 1945.

People looking at laptop

Getting a state pension forecast means a person can identify any gaps in their National Insurance record


Women born between 1950 and 1953 will usually need 30 qualifying years, or 39 qualifying years if they were born before 1950.

Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “It is hugely important to keep track of your state pension record, so you have some idea of how much you are due to receive.

“Getting a state pension forecast means you can identify any gaps in your record and put a plan in place to fill them.

“This could be through backdated benefit claims where a National Insurance credit is awarded such as Child Benefit, or you may choose to fill the gaps by buying voluntary National Insurance credits."

People who haven’t reached state pension age yet can check their state pension forecast online via the government website.

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It’s also possible to fill in the BR19 application form and send it by post or call the Future Pension Centre to get a posted forecast, provided one will reach state pension age in more than 30 days.

If a person does find they have gaps in their National Insurance record, it is important people check whether they can claim National Insurance credits first, before making voluntary contributions.

Prior to paying voluntary contributions, it’s also wise to check that making the contributions are likely to leave one better off in retirement.

Ms Morrissey explained: “Before handing over any money for these credits it’s hugely important to check in with DWP’s Future Pension Service to make sure you actually will benefit from extra credits.

“They can also tell you how far back you can purchase credits for.

Money in pictures

The basic state pension gender gap is also reducing but is currently much larger at £25.77 per week


“In most cases you can go back six tax years but for men born after April 5, 1951 or a woman born after April 5, 1953, they have the opportunity to plug gaps going back to 2006. The ability to do this expires on April 5, 2025 so if you think you can benefit from this then be sure to get in contact in plenty of time.”

New figures published today show the state gender pension gap continues to narrow, with the gap between average weekly amounts between men and women now less than £5 a week for those claiming the new state pension.

The basic state pension gender gap is also reducing, but much larger at £25.77 per week.

Ms Morrissey said: “The gap is also narrowing for those on the basic state pension, but it remains eye-wateringly high at more than £25 per week.

“It shows how women retiring under the new system are getting a better deal than they did under the previous one.

“We are also seeing the number of people receiving less than £100 per week in state pension continuing to come down for both men and women.”

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