Martin Lewis' MSE tells people aged 40 to 70 can turn £800 into £5,500

The tip was shared in the recent Money Saving Expert (MSE) newsletter
Martin Lewis Money Show -Credit:ITV

Martin Lewis' team has shared a savvy tip for workers aged between 43 and 70 looking to boost their retirement funds. An insight from MSE advises how they can transform £800 into a sizable £5,500 for their golden years.

The trick lies in purchasing additional National Insurance (NI) years to augment your state pension, a valuable hint divulged in the weekly MSE newsletter. To qualify for the maximum state pension, you must have made National Insurance Contributions equivalent to 35 years of service.

The full new state pension, claimed by those reaching the state pension age prior to April 6, 2016, is presently valued at £221.20 weekly. Those with NICs of less than 35 years will receive reduced amounts.

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The MSE team clarified that the bulk of Brits accumulate their National Insurance Credits in their employed years, but periods away from work can leave gaps in the records.

It's possible to inspect for free whether such gaps are present within your own record. If detected, individuals can currently recompense any missing years dating as far back as 2006, reports the Mirror.

However, time is quickly running out, as the deadline for addressing these gaps fast approaches in April 2025. Elaborating in the MSE newsletter, it was stated: "AGED 40 TO 73 AND NOT DUE A FULL STATE PENSION? Boost it by turning £800 into £5,500+ (free for some). To get the full state pension, you'll need 35ish (only 'ish', as it can be more for some) complete NI years - most get these through working or claiming benefits."

"If you've gaps in your NI record, check if you can fill them for free. If not, you can buy missing years from 2006 to 2016, which can be incredibly lucrative, though you'll need to do it before 5 April 2025. Don't leave it till then though, as it's not quick. We've full help on who should do this in boost NI years."

The MSE website describes the tip as a "potentially unbeatable opportunity" for those aged between 40 and 73, with some Brits having boosted their state pension by more than £50,000. The MSE team has detailed that purchasing a full voluntary National Insurance year can cost around £800 but might increase your state pension by up to an additional £275 annually.

Martin Lewis has previously shared calculations indicating that if a man who is 66 lives for another 19 years and a woman for another 21 years, each £800 spent could result in an extra £5,300 for men and £5,800 for women in pension payouts. The founder of the MSE website has highlighted that these figures are approximate, given the complexity of state pension rules and the dependency on individual circumstances.

You might be able to fill your NI gaps for free without buying any National Insurance credits. For instance, if you were claiming statutory sick pay and not earning enough for a qualifying year, you could be eligible for National Insurance credits.

Those on benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance may also qualify for National Insurance credits. Always check if you can fill your record for free before purchasing.

Before buying any NI credits, get in touch with the free Future Pension Centre on 0800 731 0175 to see if you'd benefit from filling any gaps in your NI record.