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New information about buying extra State Pension

In the Autumn Statement 2013, the government said that it would introduce a scheme so pensioners could top up their additional state pension with a new class of voluntary national insurance contribution, called Class 3A.  The Minister for Pensions announced further details and the rates of the Class 3A contributions in a statement on 2 April 2014. 

The scheme will open in October 2015 and will be available to all pensioners who reach state pension age before the introduction of the new state pension in April 2016. The scheme is expected to run for 18 months. 

Class 3A will give pensioners an option to top up their pension by up to £25 a week in a way that will protect them from inflation and offer protection to surviving spouses. In particular, it could help women, and those who have been self-employed, who tend to have low additional state pension entitlement. 

The state pension top up has been set at an actuarially fair rate that ensures that both individual contributors and the taxpayer get a fair deal.  The rates are the same for males and females. As an example, the contribution needed for an extra £1 pension per week for a person aged 65 is £890. This means that for £4,450, you could get an extra £260 per year for life, increased in line with prices and inheritable on death in the same way as existing additional state pension, with a minimum of 50% for your surviving spouse or civil partner. For a 70 year old the rate reduces to £779 and at age 75 the rate is £674. 

To register an interest in the scheme and get updates, email: paid.caxtonhouse@dwp.gsi.gov.uk 

There is also a personal calculator for you to work out the contribution needed to increase you pension by a weekly amount. You can find this at www.gov.uk/state-pension-topup .

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