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State pension outcasts to receive warning letters

Pension generic Image copyright Thinkstock

Letters will be sent to more than 100,000 people who are set to miss out on the new state pension owing to a lack of contributions.

A rule imposed in April means people need at least 10 years of National Insurance contributions in order to start qualifying for the pension.

MPs on the Work and Pensions Select Committee had complained that many would have been unaware of the change.

Now the government will write to those affected.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has decided to write to those most at risk "as a one-off exercise" before the end of the year.

Contributions

The letters will go to individuals within nine years of state pension age whose records suggest will have fewer than 10 qualifying years of contributions by the time they retire.

"This will test whether direct mail is more effective for this group, given we can identify them and we believe it is possible to formulate a clear message and call to action," the DWP said.

The 10-year rule was introduced alongside the new state pension which is being paid to those who reached pension age from April. So it is going to men born after 6 April 1951 and women born after 6 April 1953.

It is paid at a flat rate of £155.65 a week to those with a full 35 years of contributions. Those with contributions of between 10 and 35 years will receive a proportion of this total.

The previous basic state pension, which is still being paid to existing pensioners, is worth about £120 a week, plus top-ups such as the state second pension for those who qualify.

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