People reaching pension age will need only 30 years of national insurance contributions or credits to get a full basic state pension
The social development minister of Northern Ireland, Margaret Ritchie, has launched the countdown to pension reforms which will create a fairer state pension.
The minister, in particular, has called for women in their late fifties to find out if they could be missing out on money in retirement. Traditionally, many women have missed out on a full basic state pension due to a broken work history, caring for children or family members who are disabled or elderly.
From April 2010, both men and women reaching state pension age will need only 30 years of national insurance contributions or credits to get a full basic state pension, rather than the current 44 for men and 39 for women. The introduction of a new weekly carer’s credit will also help mothers and carers build up full records.
Margaret Ritchie said: “In the past many women who were unable to work due to caring responsibilities at home missed out on a full state pension entitlement in retirement. From April 2010 this will change. The system will be made fairer and more generous, especially for women and carers, so that many more women will be able to benefit from a full basic State Pension.
“It is important that all women are aware of the upcoming changes, how they will be affected personally and the options available to them about how and when they take their pension.”