Any women out there who have taken a career break for children or have been creatively unemployed - have a quick think and ring up the Pensions office in Newcastle. If you need to buy a few pension years, it is apparently cheaper to do this before next April. This may sound like a boring piece of information, but I was curious as my career has taken place in small companies - both publishers and designers (one is this one so I do know that the tax & NI has been paid over the past nine years! I wrote the cheques) and although I paid stamps when self-employed, I had no idea where I was.
To my surprise I found I had 28 years of contributions and I need 30, but I cannot get the state pension until I am 65 - and that's a long way off.
Blimey - 28 years of hard labour and I hardly noticed! Sucker for punishment.