They will speak to you on the phone and tell you where you stand, or you can fill in form BR19 to get a detailed written statement from them. If you fall under the old system, you can buy an extra qualifying year of National Insurance contributions for £741, which will boost your State Pension by £211.99 a week. Under the new system £741 will buy you an extra £237 a week. Extra years NI is the cheapest guaranteed income on the market - you only need to survive four years in retirement to come out ahead. Start your retirement planning: visit the loveMONEY investment centre (capital at risk) When it comes to private pension savings, it is important to work out what you have, and what more you will need. Add up your essential outgoings to work out a target – if you own your own home and will have cleared your mortgage by the time you retire, you will probably be looking at around half to two-thirds your current income. Thanks to automatic enrolment, increasing numbers of women are now saving into pensions. If you are lucky enough to have built up substantial defined benefit pension then you should be on track. But basic contribution levels into modern defined contribution plans offered through the workplace are often pitifully low. Use a pension calculator, such as this Government-approved one to see how much you need to contribute to achieve your target income.

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