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second pension status

My wife and I reach the age of 65 in 2016. My wife paid NI for 37 years, myself for 40 years. Do we qualify for the second pension. Also anybody retiring after April 2017 could have paid considerably less NI and end up with a bigger pension is that correct. I know it will benifit the low paid, mothers, self employed but why not , if you have paid the full amount of NI prviously, be paid the same. This would be fairer. It seems to me with the new rules that I could have paid NI for 30 years for nothing.

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If you earned more than the Basic State Pension, you should be entitled to some Second Tier State Pension, unless you were in another pension scheme which was Contracted-out of the second tier scheme. Please ask Newcastle for a forecast. If you had reached State Pension Age only a few years ago, neither of you would have qualified for a full Basic State Pension, unless your wife had Home Responsibilities Protection. Labour shortened the contributory period to 30 years. It is now being extended to 35 years. Neither of you will have contributed for nothing. You will both get over £100 per week. And don't forget that those contributions are also paying for the NHS and unemployment. The existing provisions are the most complicated in Europe and probably the world. They needed simplifying. Also the means tested element was a deterrent for low to middle income workers from saving up for their retirement. The new proposals now make that worthwhile. There are bound to be winners and losers when changes happen. Mike