Savers given four extra months to boost state pensions following complaints DWP phonelines have been jammed
Savers have four extra months to pay to boost their state pensions following complaints that Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) phone lines have been jammed ahead of the deadline.
The deadline for state pension top-ups was extended following major problems identified with the system by This is Money and we revealed people could get longer to boost their pensions last week
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has extended the date by which savers must have filled in gaps in their National Insurance records between 2006-7 and 2016-17 from April 5 to July 31.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Victoria Atkins says HMRC and the DWP have experienced a recent ‘surge’ in customer contact as savers rush to make top-ups.
This is Money exclusively revealed the pension top-ups phone gridlock last month.
Pension boost: HMRC has extended the date by which savers must have filled in gaps in their National Insurance records between 2006-7 and 2016-17 from April 5 to July 31
Frustrated callers have complained that it is near-impossible to get through on DWP phone lines or, when they do, find staff cannot give them crucial information about their state pension forecast.
The full state pension is paid to those with at least 35 years’ worth of NI contributions.
Anyone falling short can pay to fill in gaps for specific years.
It costs £15.85 for a missing week of NI, adding up to £826.50 for a full year.
This boosts your pension by £275 a year, or £5,500 over a 20-year retirement.
Normally you can only pay for the last six years, but a special concession currently allows savers to fill gaps for an extra decade, back to 2006.
This addition was due to end in April, but it has been extended to ensure people don’t miss out.
> State pension top-ups: Read our guide to boosting your retirement