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very worried by lack of pension

(9 Posts)
cakeycakeface Wed 06-Apr-16 08:03:38

I was self-employed for about 15 years but never made enough to put aside. Now I'm a SAHM. I'm 45 and I have no savings and no pension. We keep up my NI contributions but I don't have a full history of them (years at uni doing post grad studies and some periods of unemployment). We only just get by in DHs salary at the moment. Thing is, I don't even understand pensions so don't know what I'm aiming for or need to do. I'm losing sleep over this. Can anyone advise anything? How do SAHMs take care of their future?

Ragwort Wed 06-Apr-16 08:11:22

You can 'buy back' the years you have missed NI contributions, go to the HMRC website and look for details, I appreciate it is a minefield but it is well worth setting aside a half day to really look into it. You can ask for a pension forecast.

cakeycakeface Wed 06-Apr-16 08:31:38

Thank you. I just had a look online and there's a form I can complete to get a statement of all my NI contributions. It asks: "What is the first tax year you need on your statement? Please enter the year below."

What year would I put in to get a full history? Would that be age 18? (I was abroad until 24...)

GlitteryFluff Wed 06-Apr-16 08:48:25

Bumping as interested. DH is self employed and I only work a few hours part time, and both have no pension.

Ragwort Wed 06-Apr-16 08:56:57

I would assume it is the first year you started paying tax, but not entirely sure ........ is there a list of FAQ on the website?

stiffstink Wed 06-Apr-16 08:58:57

If I recall correctly the way it was explained to me was that you should estimate what sort of income you will need in retirement and save accordingly, so if you want £15k pa for say 20 yrs you'll need a pension of £300k. I'm just using those figures as examples because my maths is hopeless.

Maybe you and your DH should meet with an IFA.

Wuffleflump Wed 06-Apr-16 10:36:20

The number of years requirement for state pension dropped, so it was less of a penalty to carers etc. It's currently 30 years, and there are some exemptions www.gov.uk/state-pension/eligibility

For example, claiming child benefit will count for some years.

What are the chances that you will be working in the future and make NI contributions then? I wouldn't make up more than you have to, and the rules might change again anyway.

But I wouldn't personally rely on the state pension. Yes, do qualify for it, but I wouldn't expect it to be enough on its own. 45 is not too late to start saving for a pension, but it seems like you don't have an income to start saving.

Other factors: do you own your home (or will do, by the time you retire)? Would downsizing be an option once you're not tied to DH's job location, or do you already live cheaply?

MadameMaxGoesler Wed 06-Apr-16 11:45:28

As you are 45 you will fall under the new flat rate state pension arrangements and will need 35 years of full NI contributions. You can check your flat rate state pension forecast and National Insurance record here:
www.tax.service.gov.uk/checkmystatepension
When I checked mine I found that I had full NI years from age 16-18 credited while still at school, as well as full years when in full time employment, when getting Child Benefit for a child under 12 and when paying Class 2 self employment NI. There is some overlap in those categories, but it works out as more full years than I had anticipated. The only years I didn't have a full NI record for are when I was at university.

specialsubject Wed 06-Apr-16 11:53:51

yes, state pension years for full eligibility has gone up again to 35. The goalposts move.

OP, get that forecast. You'll get years credited for time in education and for child care. You may also be able to buy years from your self-employed time at a cheaper rate. Find out and get weaving before Osbo notices.

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