A question I’ve been asked, and been unable to answer, is which benefit, if any, includes National Insurance credits. Logically, that should be Incapacity Benefit and, by extension, ESA, but no matter hope much I rummaged around on Google, and on the Direct.gov and Pension Service websites, I could find no information at all.
Now, next Monday, I shall – and I can’t tell you how much I don’t want to be – be 65, and I’ve just put in a claim for my pension. During that process – and if it’s looming in your future, it takes just a few minutes on the phone and is quite painless – I found out that Incapacity Benefit does, indeed, include NI credits (and so, I assume, does ESA).
So, if you, like the several people who have asked me that question, are still wondering, that should be a weight off your mind. And the State Pension, for most people, will be the same amount as the Incapacity Benefit plus Pension Credit that you’ve been getting since you were 60.
Oh, and as an afterthought, to demonstrate the intelligence and forward planning ability of the Incapacity Benefit people, my IB entitlement, I was told last year, is going to be reviewed in 2011. As of next Monday, I’ll be out of the IB system**. Can’t they afford calendars?
I look forward to getting the IB50 review – and ignoring it! And by the way, if you’re on IB and coming up to retirement age, they can make your life miserable up to six weeks prior to your 65th birthday. As it takes that long to process a review, isn’t this rather a waste of everybody’s time?
**Unless you choose to stay on IB – and you’d have to be unhinged to do so – your entitlement stops automatically at 65, you don’t actually need to do anything, I found out today.