MARTIN Lewis has revealed two easy checks that anyone under 73 should do to see if they are eligible for free state pension cash.
The consumer expert shared the advice in the latest MoneySavingExpert (MSE) newsletter and you could be set to gain tens of thousands of pounds.
Martin Lewis has revealed two easy checks that anyone under 73 should doCredit: PA
Martin said: “Many assume they’ll automatically get the state pension at retirement. It doesn’t work like that.
“You have to build up enough qualifying national insurance (NI) years – normally from employment or certain benefits.”
The new state pension was introduced in 2016 for men born after April 5, 1951 – up to the age of 73 – and women after April 5, 1953 – up to 71.
You need at least ten years of qualifying national insurance contributions to get any state pension payments.
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The first check he suggests making is whether you have missing NI years.
You might have holes in your record for various reasons, like if you took time out to raise children, but luckily there is a way to fix it.
If you don’t fill in the gaps you could end up missing out on the full state pension when you retire, which at the moment is worth £203.85 a week or £10,608 a year.
It takes 35 “qualifying” years of National Insurance (NI) contributions to get the full state pension.
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But if you do have holes, you can pay for the gaps to be filled.
Currently you can backfill holes from 2006 to 2016 and you have until April 5, 2025 to do this.
After this date, you will only be able to backdate payments by up to six years.
This scheme only applies to people who reached (or will reach) state pension age after April 5, 2016.
You can check how many years of NI payments you’ve made and see any missing years on the government website.
Martin’s second piece of advice is to check whether you can plug these NI gaps for free.
Parents get National Insurance (NI) credits automatically if they claim child benefit and their child is under 12.
These credits count towards your State Pension, so you do not have gaps in your NI record if you’re not working or don …