How do I top my pension? (state, personal and workplace)

If you reached State Pension age before 6th April 2016 and you’re entitled to a State Pension, until 5th April 2017 you can top up your State Pension by paying a voluntary National Insurance Contribution.

State Pension top up

If you’re a man born before 6th April 1951 or a woman born before 6th April 1953, you can make a Class 3A voluntary National Insurance contribution in order to top up your State Pension.

How much you pay depends on how much extra money you want to receive from your State Pension (up to a maximum of £25 per week) and how old you are. You may decide to do this because the extra State Pension you expect to receive during your lifetime is greater than the lump sum amount you’ll need to pay now.

If you think you’re eligible, you can apply to make a State Pension top up on the government’s website.

Topping up your personal or workplace pension

The State Pension only provides a small retirement income, so it’s important to think about other pension saving too. Private pensions and workplace pensions are usually defined contribution pensions, which means their value on retirement depends on how much you’ve contributed and how the investments have performed.

To top up your private or workplace pension, you can usually make both regular contributions and one-off lump sum payments. Remember that this will also be topped up by government contributions in the form of tax relief. Plus, your employer will usually add to your workplace pension too.

If you’re wondering how much money to pay into your pension, check out our page on making pension contributions for some guidance.

How to top up your PensionBee pension

If you open a PensionBee pension, from your online account you’ll be able to set up monthly contributions and make one-off payments to top up your pension. Find out more about PensionBee or sign up to PensionBee here.

Last edited: 30-09-2018

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