In conversation with my parents recently, I was shocked to discover that they both would not be eligible for the full state pension. It turns out that to receive the full state pension you need to have made National Insurance contributions for 35 years, or at least 10 years to receive any pension at all.
My parents are now retired but came to the UK from Nigeria in the early 1990s so would not be able to collect the full, rather measly, £179.60 per week when they reach the state pension age of 66 in a few years.
This got me thinking about how many people find themselves in a similar position and how prepared we are as a community for retirement.
In this country we are facing a pensions crisis. Life expectancy continues to rise creating an ageing population and it’s estimated that by 2042 a quarter of the UK will be aged 65 or older – up from 18% in 2016. This means the number of pensioners is set to increase relative to the population of working age. This is problematic as people of working age pay the taxes which fund state pensions. The state pension age is currently 66 but is forecast to rise to as much as age 70 by 2050.