Opinion  

State pension forecasts are worthless

Tony Laverick

I recently received a forecast of a client’s state pension. It is an excellent document, stating the number of qualifying years in which the client has paid sufficient NI, the current entitlement to basic pension and it even gives an estimate of all additional pensions. It also refers to the new flat rate pension coming in from April and provides further information separately.

Sadly, it is worthless because it states the amount of the additional pensions could be lower “especially if they were contracted out of the additional state pension anytime between 6 April 1978 and 5 April 1997”. That may well be correct, but why cannot the department for work and pensions confirm the current amount of deductions, especially for the 1978-97 guaranteed minimum pension period some 18 years after the event? State pension forecasts used to include contracted out deductions, so why not now? It is bad enough that contributors will be unable to check the deductions without full records, but their total absence is inexcusable at this late stage.

The DWP would certainly have needed the collective data to advise parliament on the cost implications of the changes, so why are these public servants now reluctant to disclose the information? I suspect we all know the answer.

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Tony Laverick

Chartered financial planner,

Anders Bayley Scott,

Cobham,

Surrey