How to maximise YOUR pension
YOU need 35 years of National Insurance (NI) credits to qualify for the full new state pension of £179.60 a week.
You will need at least ten years of credits to claim the minimum rate, which is now around £51 a week.
Workers who retired before April 2016 receive the old state pension, which pays up to £137.60. You can check your NI record to see what you will be entitled to by visiting gov.uk/check-state-pension. There are several things you can do to boost your state pension. Parents who take time off work to look after children can continue to earn NI credits by claiming child benefit.
Specified childcare credits are also available to adults who look after a child while their parent goes back to work. You may also be entitled to credits if you are off work but on statutory sick pay. If you cannot claim more NI credits, you can buy voluntary class 3 NI contributions to plug gaps — these will cost £800 for every year.
Poorer pensioners may be entitled to pension credit, which tops up weekly incomes to £177.10 for singletons and £270.30 for couples.