Citizens’ Advice

Pat Hutchinson MBE.

Pat Hutchinson MBE.

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By Pat Hutchinson MBE, District Manager, Citizens Advice Newtownabbey

Q: I am a 60 year old man born on January 5, 1955. I have heard the State Retirement Pension Rules are changing, how will it affect me?

A: The new State Pension will be a regular payment from the Government that you can claim if you reach State Pension age on or after April 6, 2016.

You’ll be able to get the new State Pension if you’re eligible and:

- a man born on or after 6 April 1951;

- a woman born on or after 6 April 1953.

If you reach State Pension age before April 6, 2016, you’ll get the State Pension under the current scheme instead.

You can still get a State Pension if you have other income like a personal pension or a workplace pension.

The full new State Pension will be no less than £151.25 per week. The actual amount will be set in autumn, 2015.

Your National Insurance record is used to calculate your new State Pension. You’ll usually need 10 qualifying years to get any new State Pension. The amount you get can be higher or lower depending on your National Insurance record. It will only be higher if you have over a certain amount of Additional State Pension.

You may have to pay tax on your State Pension.

You don’t have to stop working when you reach State Pension age, but you’ll no longer have to pay National Insurance. You can also request flexible working arrangements.

Your retirement age will be 66 and you should be eligible to retire on January 5, 2021.

To calculate when you’ll reach State Pension age go to www.gov.uk/calculate-state-pension

• Get free, confidential and independent advice from your nearest Citizens Advice – go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk/nireland or call at: Citizens Advice Newtownabbey, Dunanney Centre, Rathmullan Drive, Rathcoole, Newtownabbey, BT37 9DQ. Telephone advice is available 9am – 4pm each day on 028 9085 2271 (Lunch 1:00 - 1:30pm), email advice is available on enewtownabbey@citizensadvice.co.uk