DWP update on voluntary social security contributions to close pension gaps

The Department for Work and Pensions has been overwhelmed by demand as workers scramble to plug gaps in their pensions ahead of the original April 5 deadline.

Experts have urged the public to pay voluntary National Insurance (NI) contributions in the months leading up to the deadline in order to receive a better state pension when they retire, but with the deadline just weeks away, many have been able to do so don’t phone lines. The DWP has now moved to reassure the public, saying: “If customers are unable to make voluntary contributions by May 5th for reasons beyond their control,

To get the full new state pension of £203.85 a week from April you need to have at least 35 years of contributions in your account and Martin Lewis says paying voluntary contributory causes could prove “incredibly lucrative” for 45-70 year olds . “Many can spend £800 or less (on contributions) and get back £5,500,” he said.

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Buying back missed years can be a good way to boost retirement income, as the full new state pension will be worth up to £10,600.20 in FY2023/24 – paid out every four weeks at £203.85, according to Chronicle Live.

People can fill any NI gaps in their records going back to 2006, but after April 5th you can only go back six years. According to the PA news agency, while efforts should still be made to make voluntary contributions by April 5, the DWP will “take a sympathetic approach and consider accepting payments received after the deadline”.

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The new state pension was introduced on April 6, 2016, but many people are missing social security years. Here’s everything you need to know about the scheme:

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