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step two: how can I check my state pension?

If you have been paying National Insurance contributions, you will have built up an entitlement to at least some state pension.

You can get a state pension forecast telling you in today's money the state pension you have already earned and what you can expect to have earned by state pension age. It will also include details of your additional state pension, if you have one.

You can find out how  here on the Direct Gov website. This includes an online application form so can be done in a few minutes.

You can also find information there on how to understand your forecast when you receive it.

If you have missed out paying enough National Insurance contributions to qualify for a full state retirement pension, it may be possible to pay back contributions. This is well worth thinking about. You can find out more about National Insurance contributions here on the HMRC website.

But even a full state pension and a good additional state pension will not provide a lavish lifestyle in retirement. You may want to think about building up some extra pension though your own efforts as well. Take the next step to find out how.

NEXT: Step 3...