Understanding State Pension Changes for Armed Forces Personnel Pre-April 2016

Were you employed by the Armed Forces before April 2016?

Under State Pension rules before 6 April 2016, workplaces could opt to ‘contract out’ of the Additional State Pension (ASP). If you were contracted out, some of your National Insurance (NI) contributions might have been lower compared to those who were not contracted out.

The impact of contracting out on your State Pension amount depends on when you will reach the State Pension age.

If you reached the State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you are entitled to the basic State Pension of £156.20, but you may not receive any ASP.

If you reach(ed) State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016 and were contracted out, you might not receive the full rate of the new State Pension (£203.85 a week). The deduction depends on your contracted-out period and earnings at the time.

Increasing your State Pension

You may increase your State Pension by adding qualifying years to your NI record. Each ‘qualifying year’ added after 5 April 2016 will incrementally increase your ‘starting amount’ (approximately £5.82 a week) until you reach the full amount of the new State Pension or State Pension age, whichever comes first.

Check your State Pension forecast – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you were contracted out, your forecast would include a ‘Contracted-Out Pension Equivalent’ estimate.

Your State Pension explained – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you are a non-UK resident, you can apply to make voluntary overseas National Insurance contributions.

Apply to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions when abroad (CF83) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)