Warning for Brits with just weeks left to claim up to £5,000 in missing cash

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MILLIONS of Brits are being warned that they have just weeks left to check if they can get a £5,000 cash boost.

People between the age of 45 and 70 are being urged to check if they are able to boost their state pension.

Brits are being urged to check if they can boost their state pension

It comes as pensioners across the country are facing rising costs and bills.

It takes 35 years of National Insurance contributions to get the full amount of state pension and you can pay for gaps in your record.

People often have gaps if they were unemployed, on a low income, or self-employed.

You can check how many years of NI payments you’ve made and see any missing years on the government website.

But you’ll have to be quick, as workers looking to top up their payments have until April 5 to make the most of it.

Up until this date, you can go back as far as 16 years, which is particularly useful for those near state pension age.

But after this date, you will only be able to go back six years.

Alice Haine, Personal Finance Analyst at Bestinvest said checking your record is “urgent and potentially rewarding”.

She said: “Buying back missed years can be a good way to bolster retirement income as just one qualifying year of National Insurance.

“If you live 20 years beyond the current state retirement age of 67, each year bought back could give you up to £5,500 per year to take home, a great return particularly when you consider this is likely to rise in line with inflation.

“Make up five missing years at a cost of about £4,121, for example, and that could potentially be worth up to £27,500 over a typical 20-year retirement.”

At the moment you can top up for any missing years dating back to 2006 but a six-year limit will return in April 2023, restricting how far you can go back.

National insurance contributions are usually taken directly from your wages if you’re employed or via self-assessment for the self-employed.

You can check how many years of NI payments you’ve made and see any missing years on the government website.

Though before making voluntary contributions, you need to get a pension forecast and speak to the Government’s Future Pension Centre.

The body will be able to tell you whether it’s worth you paying for extra qualifying years, as it may not be beneficial for everyone.

Earning back the years isn’t free so your voluntary contributions do come at a price.

It works out to be worth £15.85 a week which means it costs £824.20 to buy one year of contributions.

This will add £275 to your state pension every year.

But of course, there are risks – if you happened to die before the three years are up then you will have wasted the money, the savings experts explained. 

It is important to check if gaps in your contributions – for example when you’re not working and looking after children – can be made up by claiming credits instead.

Thousands are thought to be missing out on these NI Credits, leaving them worse off in retirement.

You can check the full list of who’s eligible for claiming credits on the government website.

It explains the circumstances where you’ll need to claim and when you’ll get it automatically.

Besides topping up missing NI payments, we explain other ways you can boost your state pension by up to £700 a year.

Plus, pensioners on a low income could get extra help from pension credit – here’s how.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]