James wrote:Well, that's good news. So even if I chipped off work now at 56 I'd still be entitled to the full pension in 11 years?
What had confused me was the big statement somewhere on the site regarding needing 35 years and the calculations showing how to work out what you'd get without 35 years contribs.
Yep, you're already up for the full new state pension, so you don't have to worry about that (unless they change the rules of course)!
For folks that gained some qualifying years pre-2016 it's not generally reliably possible to figure out their entitlement without some extra information, although it can, in some cases, be inferred.
Greatly simplifying, what we can say in your case is that as you had 19 qualifying years from 1997/98 up to and including 2015/16, plus your 3 "mystery" years, for a total of 22 pre-2016 years, then your 2016 "starting amount" would have been the higher of (using current year figures):
Old system: £137.60 * (22 / 30) = £100.91pw plus (revalued) Additional State Pension (ASP)
New system: £179.60 * (22 / 35) = £112.89pw minus (revalued) Contracted Out Pension Equivalent (COPE)
Now, we don't know your ASP and while you can find the COPE in your online forecast (if you were ever contracted out), don't bother as we know from the fact that you've already reached the full new state pension with only an additional 5 years from 2016/17 onwards, that the old system £100.91+ASP figure must have been the greater and hence used for your 2016 "starting amount".
Further, we can say that as the 5 years since 2016/17 have added (at most) £179.60 * (5 / 35) = £25.66, then your 2016 "starting amount" must have been at least £179.60 - £25.66 = £153.94 and therefore your ASP must have been at least £53.03.
Of course, it's entirely possible that your ASP was higher and your starting amount was much closer to £179.60 and you could have chipped off work a few years back and still got a full pension. The only way to know is to contact DWP/HMRC and ask them.
BTW, I've used current year figures above, as it just makes it simpler to understand, but what one should do is use 2016 figures and then revalue. The answer will come to the same, so it isn't an issue here but should you contact DWP/HMRC be aware that they will quote you 2016 figures.
If you really want to know the ins and outs of the calculation (and the right buzz phrases for contacting DWP/HMRC about it), start here: viewtopic.php?p=402781#p402781, read and follow the links therein.