Ask Tony: Trying to boost my pension tied me up in knots

I worked for Leeds City Council for 36 years and ten months before retiring at the end of January 2011 for personal reasons.

During this time I was contracted out of top-up state pensions such as Serps. I hit state pension age on September 9 and contacted the Pension Service to set it up.

I told them I wished to make a one-off lump-sum payment of Class 3 National Insurance of £741 to cover the year 2016/17.

I understand this would give me a slightly bigger state pension.

I was told that the payment should be Class 3a and that would be £733.20 but that there was no need because I was getting an auto credit anyway.

I want to pay this extra money to boost my state pension but I’m hitting a brick wall.

G. F., Leeds

Thwarted: One reader is struggling to top up his state pension with a one-off lump-sum payment

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