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53% of Brits unaware of state pension reforms


53% of the UK population, including 27% of people over the age of 55 are not aware of State Pension reforms, according to new research from Prudential, a British life insurance and financial services company.

The new regulations mean that a person wanting to claim full state pension from 6th April 2016 will have to have worked and paid National Insurance for 35 years. People are able to make Voluntary National Insurance Contributions if they have not paid 35 years of National Insurance, and some people are entitled to National Insurance credits if they can not work due to illness or disability.

The research also shows that 18% of adults do not believe they will qualify for the full flat rate of state pension, as they will not have worked the full 35 years.

Of the people who feel like they will miss out, 49% of those feel it will be to do with taking career breaks to raise children, and 20% believe they will miss out due to long term illness. Women are more likely than men to think that they will not qualify for the state pension.

The research found that only 14% of adults who believe they won’t reach 35 years in employment will make voluntary additional NI contributions, to ensure they qualify for the full State Pension.

Tim Fassam, pensions policy expert at Prudential, said:
“Due to the changes to the rules on eligibility, there will be differences in what people receive. It is therefore important for everyone to obtain all the relevant information so that they can make an informed decision, if they need to make up additional qualifying years through working longer or making voluntary contributions.

“However, people should not rely on the State Pension alone. Saving as much as possible as early as possible in your working life, and seeking professional financial advice in the run-up to retirement, will help to ensure that you are best placed to make the most of your savings when you’re ready to stop working.”

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