Dronfield-based chartered financial planners, Belmayne, are urging local residents to check their state pension forecasts with experts, after the government system has proved unreliable.
“Some 300,000 people nationally are thought to have received inaccurate pension forecasts from the online portal,” says Belmayne partner, David Bashforth.
Workers who have been ‘contracted out’ for periods of their employment are most likely to be affected by the forecasting issue. This includes membership of defined benefit or final salary schemes, as well as those owning personal pension plans that were set up to receive the national insurance rebate.
David, an independent advisor, continued: “Checking your state pension benefits is relatively straightforward using the Government Gateway portal, however, it has come to light in recent weeks that the information provided to some users is incorrect. It is, therefore, essential to seek guidance if you are thinking about retirement, especially if you know you were contracted out or suspect your forecast doesn’t reflect this.”
Belmayne helps clients maximise their state pension entitlement by identifying gaps in national insurance contributions and taking steps to fill them. The partners also advise people who may have been contracted out for their entire working life, for example, police officers, teachers and some NHS workers on how to rectify any shortfall.
“For many of us, the state pension still forms the bedrock of retirement,” concludes David. “This guaranteed, inflation-proof benefit is often the only index-linked income stream we have after finishing work and it is incredibly valuable. It keeps pace with rising living costs and is hugely expensive to replicate in the world of personal pensions.”
For more information about obtaining an accurate state pension forecast, contact Belmayne on (01246) 298181, visit www.belmayne-ifa.com or follow the firm on Twitter, @belmayneifa.