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DWP warning on how to ensure you receive your State Pension payments

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released figures showing that the State Pension is currently supporting nearly 12.7 million older individuals across the UK.

To be eligible for this payment, which is available to those who have reached the State Pension age of 66 for both men and women, individuals must have made at least a decade's worth of National Insurance Contributions. Yet, as many people near the official retirement age this year, they may not realise that this contributory benefit isn't issued automatically by the DWP and must be claimed, or they risk losing out on weekly payments that could amount to £221.20.

The reason the money isn't paid out as soon as someone hits the State Pension age is that some opt to defer their claim to continue working and increase their pension savings, particularly if they haven't contributed the full 35 years of National Insurance Contributions required, or if they were 'contracted out'.

The DWP has provided guidance, stating: "You do not get your State Pension automatically - you have to claim it. You should get a letter no later than two months before you reach State Pension age, telling you what to do."

Further clarifying the process, the guidance notes that individuals can either claim their State Pension or choose to delay (defer) their claim, adding: "If you want to defer, you do not have to do anything. Your pension will automatically be deferred until you claim it.", reports the Daily Record.

This means that if you don't respond to the letter confirming your desire to start claiming State Pension, you won't receive any payments as the DWP will interpret a lack of response as a wish to defer.

Deferring your State Pension could increase the payments you get