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New state pension – will you qualify?

The government has agreed to write to individuals who do not have enough years of national insurance contributions (NICs) to qualify for the new state pension.

To receive any new state pension an individual must have at least 10 qualifying years of NICs.

People who are less than 9 years from state pension age and who are likely to have less than 10 years of qualifying NICs when they reach state pension age will get a letter.

The new single-tier state pension was introduced for those who reach state pension age on or after 6 April 2016.

Set at £155.65 a week, the new state pension applies to men born after 6 April 1951 and women after 6 April 1953.

People who reached state pension age before 6 April 2016 will continue to receive their state pension under the old rules.

Gareth Shaw, head of consumer affairs at Saga Investment Services, said: “The changes that were introduced this year should wave away this complexity over time but with many of the new rules are still fresh, the government must redouble efforts to ensure people understand how they’re affected.”

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “This is just a first step and we urge the government to go much further and write directly to every individual to provide them with an estimate of what state pension they are on target to receive. This should then be updated periodically.”