Earlier this month the Father of the House of Commons, Peter Bottomley asked a very interesting question focused on the needs for pensioners and the response from the Conservative Minister, Laura Trott who is in the Department of Work and Pension was very clear. Here comment initially was that “It is not possible to estimate the number of people” and she did add a few more words and then spoke more extensively and then towards the end of the question she did explain one of the approaches that the Government is working on. However because of the way the written question system works we have no response from Peter Bottomley – perhaps we could ask him? Here is the question and answer from the 7th March.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an estimate of the number of prospective pensioners who would benefit from contacting the Pension Service to establish the contributions they can pay before 5 April 2023.
Laura Trott: It is not possible to estimate the number of people who would benefit from contacting the Pensions Service in relation to voluntary National Insurance Contributions and filling gaps between 2006 and 2016. This is because it is not possible to know all the variables in an individual’s circumstances (including their future employment record) that would mean they would benefit from filling past gaps in their National Insurance records.
DWP advise customers to use the online Check your State Pension forecast service to get a personalised State Pension forecast. This gives the customer their expected State Pension entitlement based on their National Insurance (NI) record, and a forecast entitlement if they fill all the Qualifying Years available to them. Once they have done this, if people are below State Pension age, they can contact the Future Pension Centre to find out if they will benefit from voluntary contributions. If they have reached State Pension age, they can contact the Pensions Service.
I am pleased to confirm that a Written Ministerial Statement has been made today by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury confirming that the deadline for contributions has been extended to 31 July. This is to ensure customers do not miss out on the opportunity to make voluntary NICs for the period between 5 April 2006 to the end of the 2016/17 tax year. All voluntary NICs payments for this period will now be accepted at the existing 2022/23 rates until the 31 July. This extension allows HMRC and DWP the time to process enquiries and payments to ensure people’s State Penson eligibility can be maximised.