R is for… Retirement

My Dad asked me recently where he should look to find out what he is entitled to when he retires, so I figured that as I am doing the research for him I may as well share it in case anyone else would find it useful.

For a general check up of benefit entitlements, there is a site called Turn2Us

The Direct Gov website offers several options for those about to retire, including:

Guide if you’re about to retire

Overview of the different areas covered in this section

Trace a company or personal pension scheme

Find a company or personal pension scheme you’ve lost touch with through the online form from the Pension Tracing Service

Retirement checklist: who to notify, when and why

Claiming the State Pension, checking you’re entitlement to benefits and paying the right tax in retirement

Early retirement – effect on your pension

What effect early retirement might have on your State and other pensions, steps you can take to protect your pension income

How much income will you have in retirement?

Get a pension forecast, trace old pensions, check government benefits and make the most of your savings in retirement

Do you need to top up your National Insurance contributions? (money, tax and benefits section)

Making up the shortfall if you don’t have enough qualifying years in your National Insurance record

Making sure you’ve stopped paying National Insurance

Your National Insurance contributions if you’re working after State Pension age

Why it’s important to fill in your Pension Coding form

When you are nearing State Pension age, complete the ‘Pension Coding’ (P161) form to make sure you don’t pay too much tax

Help if you have little or no pension

If you end up with little or no pension you may be able to get Pension Credit and may be entitled to a non-contributory pension if you are over 80

Report your change of address, bank details or other circumstances to The Pension Service

Find out how and when to report any changes in your circumstances that may affect your pension and benefits

Additional links

Claim more

More about Pension Credit

Over 60? You may be entitled to more money each week

Useful contacts

Benefits from retirement age

The government offers various kinds of financial support for those in retirement – it’s worthwhile finding out if you will qualify. Some are income related, some are not.

Pension Credit

Pension Credit is an income-related benefit for those living in Great Britain who have reached the minimum qualifying age. It guarantees a minimum weekly income (2010-2011) of:

  • £132.60 if you are single
  • £202.40 if you have a partner

If your income in retirement is less than this, you can get top up payments to bring you up to the guaranteed level.

The age from which you can get Pension Credit Guarantee Credit is gradually increasing from 60 to 65 between April 2010 and 2020. To find out the age when you may be able to apply for Pension Credit, you should use the State Pension age calculator.

The State Pension age for both men and women will rise in the future. The government is reviewing the current timetable for increasing the State Pension age from 65 to 66. No decision has yet been made as to how the timetable will change. Any change will require the approval of Parliament.

Changes to the State Pension age are likely to affect the Pension Credit qualifying age.

Other income-related benefits

You may also be entitled to other income-related benefits including:

  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Cold Weather Payment
  • help with funeral costs
  • help with health costs

Benefits not related to income

Some benefits are available whatever your income, including the Winter Fuel Payment, disability payments, attendance allowances and bereavement benefits.

Can anyone suggest any other links that may help someone, about to retire, to find everything that they are entitled to?