Pension increase 2022: How much is the state pension, and Martin Lewis state pension advice

Edinburgh has been named the ninth most expensive city to retire to in the UK.

Thursday, 19th May 2022, 10:15 am

With the recent state pension increase for 2022, critics have called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the UK government to do more to protect those in retirement age who rely on the state pension.

Here’s what you need to know about the New State Pension.

Read More

Read More
Cost of Living Crisis: Benefits and pensions rise 'significantly outpaced' by in...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The state pension increased this year. Photo: Jacob Lund / Canva Pro.

How much is the state pension in 2022?

The state pension and certain benefits have risen by 3.1% from Monday. The changes mean the basic state pension will rise by £4.25 a week to £141.85 a week, with the full state pension going up £5.55 a week to £185.15.

A single person aged 25 will see their universal credit allowance rise from £324.84 to £334.91 a month, or £4,019 a year, and child benefit rises 68p a week for the eldest child. Disability allowance is also going up by 3.1% and will automatically change for recipients.

Martin Lewis state pension advice

Critics have said that the increase doesn't do enough to combat the rising costs of living. Photo: Pressmaster / Canva Pro.

Martin Lewis has broken down the state pension process step by step, starting from how to check whether you’ll get the state pension. He emphasises that you will need 35 years worth of National Insurance contributions to receive the full amount.

However, National Insurance gaps up to 2006 can be plugged by buying years back in the following ways:

- Statutory sick pay: You are/were on it and not earning enough for a qualifying year.- Jobseeker's allowance: You are/were eligible for it but not claiming it.- Employment and support allowance: You are/were eligible for it but not claiming it.- Caring for a family member: As long as you are/were between 16 and state pension age and the family member is/was under 12 and not your child. Also known as 'grandparent credits'.- Caring for a sick/disabled person: As long as it is/was for at least 20 hours a week.- On jury service: You are/were on it and weren't self-employed.- Wrongly imprisoned: As long as your conviction has since been quashed.- A foster carer (or kinship carer in Scotland): As long as it's since 6 April 2010.- On statutory maternity, paternity or adoption pay: You are/were on it and didn't/won't earn enough for a qualifying NI year (additional statutory paternity pay also counts).- Spouse of a member of the armed forces: You're married to, or a civil partner of, a member of the armed forces and went with them on an overseas posting (additional eligibility rules apply here).- On a Government-approved training course: You are/were on one, are over 18, and weren't sent on the course by Jobcentre Plus.

However, these rules are to be changed next year, meaning that you will only be eligible to buy six years' worth of National Insurance contributions back after April 5th, 2023.

It might not be worth your while to top up your state pension, however. Check Money Saving Expert’s top-up calculator on this page in Step 4 to see whether it’s the right choice for you.

How does the state pension increase compare to living costs in Scottish cities?

Research from NerdWallet showed that Edinburgh was the ninth most expensive city to retire in. The company found that the weekly costs per person, without rent, come to £154.74 in total, £3.79 more than the national average. This leaves just £30.41 from the New State Pension each week, or £1581.32 per year.

Glasgow and Aberdeen also made the top 26 most expensive retirement cities in the UK, at 15 and 25 respectively.