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Gov't letter could cause confusion over NIC changes

by Alex Steger on Jan 22, 2013 at 08:22

Gov't letter could cause confusion over NIC changes

The government has been accused of misleading workers near retirement over the amount to National Insurance Contributions (NIC) they need to make to qualify for the full state pension, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Last week the government published a white paper outlining plans for a £140-a-week flat rate state pension, hiking the years of NICs an individual would need to make to qualify from 30 to 35.

However, the Telegraph reported that since the white paper came out the government has written letters to those approaching retirement saying they would need just 30 years of NICs, saying the requirement had been reduced- a reference to the 2010 reduction when men reaching state pension age required 44 years of NICs, while women needed 39.

The Telegraph said many of the recipients would reach state pension age after 2017, so will be subject to the 35-year requirement if the flat-rate scheme is introduced on schedule.

Independent pension expert Ros Altmann told the Telegraph: ‘The letter should have mentioned the possibility that the rules would change,’ she said. ‘What's the point of sending out a letter that's clearly going to be wrong? It made it sound like the reduction to 30 years had just taken place and was good news.’

2 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Keith Cobby

Jan 22, 2013 at 11:35

I contend that it is not a flat-rate pension unless everyone receives the same. If some pensioners receive more and others less how can it be described as a flat-rate.

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Iain Boyde

Jan 22, 2013 at 15:33

Having received one of these letters and retiring for state pension purposes post 2017, it confirmed yet again the inability of the government to get things right on pensions.The website you are referred to in the letter is out of date as well. I suppose any MP is not that bothered by the state scheme when they have such a glorious defined benefit pension scheme..Which will of course improve massively with the demand for a huge increase in MPs pay by all parties.It is not misleading just inaccurate/incorrect. Imagine how incensed the regulatory authorities would be if this kind of inaccuracy was hoisted upon clients by IFAs.

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