Boost your pension before costs rise in April

If you want to boost your state pension with some voluntary National Insurance Contributions (NICs), consider doing it sooner rather than later, as contribution costs are set to rise from 5 April.

Pension provider Royal London warned anyone thinking of contributing that they should be aware of this 5 April deadline, as costs will rise sharply.

For example, making an annual rate contribution for the 2010/11 tax year currently costs £626.60. However, if you make the contribution after 5 April this year, the cost rises by £153.40 to a whopping £780.

However, it is important that you check that filling in the gaps with NICs will actually boost your state pension. You can do this by visiting the government website.

The benefits of topping up your state pension to fill any gaps will be apparent longer term. For example, in the new tax year your full state pension entitlement will be about £168.60. This means that each additional year of contributions you fill is worth around £4.80 per week for life. However, that means that it will take roughly three years to earn back one extra year of NICs, so consider your current lifestyle and health before committing.

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