Forecasting your pension
It's important to check to see how much pension you'll receive on retirement. You can do this by getting a statement for your State Pension or forecasts for any personal or stakeholder pensions you own.
Great Britain changed the law to introduce a new State Pension for men and women who will reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016. The changes to State Pension are not yet law in Northern Ireland. If the Northern Ireland Assembly passes similar legislation, these changes will be made here.
You should read about the new State Pension, if you’re:
- a man born on or after 6 April 1951
- a woman born on or after 6 April 1953
- new State Pension from 6 April 2016
Getting a personal or workplace pension statement
You can ask your pension provider for a statement of what your pension might pay when you retire. The pension provider may be your employer if you contribute to a workplace pension scheme, or your personal pension provider.
Your pension provider will send you an annual statement of your pension fund's value. This should include a statement of your pension income at retirement age.
Bear in mind that your statement is only an estimate and is based on a number of assumptions, including:
- that your income will stay roughly the same in the future
- how much your pension will grow
- how much it might cost to buy a pension income with your pension plan when you retire
All of these factors could change at any time, in which case you might need to get a new statement,
Getting a State Pension statement
A State Pension statement provides you with an estimate of State Pension (including basic State Pension, additional Pension and Graduated Retirement Benefit) based on your National Insurance (NI) record as it stands when the statement is produced.
The statement shows how many qualifying years you have currently recorded on your NI record. It gives you generic information enabling you to work out how your estimate may be affected by further years being added to your NI record.
Combined Pension statements
A Combined Pension Statement gives you an estimate of your total retirement income by combining the details of your workplace or personal pension with your State Pension statement. A Combined Pension Statement is provided on a voluntary basis by employers in partnership with The Pension Service. You will need to check that your employer is participating in the Combined Pension Statement service.
For more information on Combined Pension statements:
- Your State Pension estimate explained (GOV.UK website)
- Combined Pension Statements for employers (GOV.UK website)
Finding an old pension
If you have lost track of a personal or workplace pension scheme, the Pension Tracing Service can help you find the details. The service is free. Contact the Pension Tracing Service:
- telephone: 0845 6002 537
- telephone: +44 (0) 191 215 4491 (resident outside UK)
or complete an online application on the Pension Service website:
If you're worried about your pension statement
If you're worried that you may not be paying enough in to your pension, a pension calculator will show what would happen if you paid more.
If you want to pay more, talk to your employer (if you have a workplace pension) or personal pension provider about increasing your payments.
If you have problems getting a statement or pension estimate from your pension provider, or are concerned that your fund is poorly managed, you can complain to an organisation which can investigate your complaint: