Pension management can seem like a daunting topic full of legislative jargon. And, as a result, it can be hard to find the answers you’ve been looking for all in one place.
By analysing the last 12 months of Google Search data1, Local Financial Advice has determined the top pension questions posed by Britons over the past year – and answered each.
So, if you’re curious about anything from how much is a state pension to if pensions are taxable, check out the top five most Googled pension questions of 2021 below:
Q1. How much is a State Pension?
Unsurprisingly, the most common pension question is ‘how much is a State Pension?’, with 288,000 annual Google searches. However, a further 57,600 people also searched ‘when will I get my State Pension?’, within the same time frame. So, why not expand on both:
- The full State Pension is available to anyone who has reached the national retirement age (66, but this will increase to 68 by 2039) and has a minimum of 30 years of National Insurance contributions.
- This would entitle you to receive £179.60 per week in State Pension payments. If you have been making National Insurance contributions for less than the required 30 qualifying years, you will receive £137.60 per week.
Q2. How much is the State Pension for a married couple?
34,800 searches on Google each year for ‘how much is the State Pension for a married couple?’, suggests that there’s some uncertainty around the rules on partners’ pension pots.
Each retiree is treated independently. So, if both have contributed to National Insurance credits for 30 years, a couple will receive a combined £359.20 per week (£179.60 x 2).
Q3. How to claim a State Pension?
Local Financial Advice discovered 21,600 searches each month for ‘how to claim State Pension?’. While you won’t receive your pension immediately, you’ll receive an invitation letter that outlines your next steps usually within two months of reaching the State Pension age. However, if you don’t receive your form, you can also apply online via the gov.uk website.
Q4. What is a pension credit?
Pension credits are a hot topic, with 111,600 Google searchers having asked what they are over the last 12 months. While each retiree receives State Pension payments, there are other top-up forms of income available.
These are usually reserved for people who are carers, disabled, or responsible for children. However, you could also be eligible to claim Pension Credits to help with council tax, dental or hospital costs, or heating bills.
Q5. Are pensions taxable?
To answer the 69,120 people who searched ‘are pensions taxable?’ on Google over the last 12 months: it depends. Regarding your monthly pension payments, as with all earned income, if you receive more than your personal allowance (2021/2022: £12,570), you will be taxed accordingly. However, it is also possible to claim up to 25% of your pension pot as a tax-free lump sum upon retirement (from the age of 55).
Nigel Borwell, co-founder of Local Financial Advice comments on the study “It’s great to see so many Britons searching for answers to their pension questions. Retirement planning can be a complex process, so I encourage you to research your options and seek expert financial advice to identify the most suitable strategy for you to ensure your finances are on track for retirement.”
For the full guide and to read the top 10 most asked pension questions please visit https://www.localfinancialadvice.co.uk/blog/what-questions-are-brits-asking-about-pensions-local-financial-advice