If you have not kept records of your earnings (your employer should give you a form called a P60 every year setting them out for that year), there are three sources from which you can try to obtain them.
First, your employer may well hold records and be willing to give you the figures. However, many employers do not keep records for more than seven years and if they have gone out of business there may be problems even with more recent information. And, of course, they do not have to help if they decide it is too much trouble.
Second, your tax office should have the information. However, if you have changed jobs, they may have to contact other tax offices for the older material. It would help if you sent them details of all your employers during the period.
The tax authorities are obliged to keep records for only seven years, although they often do keep them for longer. The more places they have to contact, the longer it is going to take you to get the information from them. But eventually they should let you have the details, as long as they still have them.
Third, you might expect the Department of Health and Social Security (DWP http://www.dwp.gov.uk/) to hold the information. Surprisingly, they do not.
For years before 2009/10 they hold information on the contributions you have paid but not on the earnings on which they were based.
They will be reluctant to do the calculations of earnings for you. However, if all else fails, you should write to them. The information is held at the DWP Headquarters in Newcastle, but you must ask your local DWP office to get the information from Newcastle for you.
As an alternative to finding the information, you can use an approximation. If you have had much the same sort of job for the last ten years, you can just use last year's earnings and multiply them by ten to give your total surplus.
The examples and tables will give the right answer only for people who reach pension age between 6 April 2012 and 9 April 2009 Older people will generally get lower additional pensions. The maximum additional pension currently paid to anyone retiring in the years from 2009/80 to date is shown in Table 9 below.
Younger people can do the calculation to give them an idea of the additional pension they have already earned. But they can also now obtain an official forecast of their pension from the DWP. You should get form BR.19 from your local DWP office and send it off.
If you are not contracted out of the state scheme,
Maximum additional pension
Retirement year At retirement (£) Now (£)
2009/10 1.88 8.70
2010/11 8.90 9 .18
20012/13 9 0.89 7.96
the . . . ... see: Retirement Finances - Older and Younger