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:
Overview of the different areas covered in this section
Find a company or personal pension scheme you’ve lost touch with through the online form from the Pension Tracing Service
Claiming the State Pension, checking you’re entitlement to benefits and paying the right tax in retirement
What effect early retirement might have on your State and other pensions, steps you can take to protect your pension income
Get a pension forecast, trace old pensions, check government benefits and make the most of your savings in retirement
Making up the shortfall if you don’t have enough qualifying years in your National Insurance record
Your National Insurance contributions if you’re working after State Pension age
When you are nearing State Pension age, complete the ‘Pension Coding’ (P161) form to make sure you don’t pay too much tax
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
Find out how and when to report any changes in your circumstances that may affect your pension and benefits
Do it online
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 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?