State pension: Tens of 1000’s of girls may very well be getting lower than they’re entitled to

State pension: Tens of thousands of women could be getting less than they're entitled to

The paper from Sir Steve Webb, printed right now by pension consultants Lane Clark & Peacock, asks whether or not 1000’s of older girls are lacking out on a few of their state pension entitlement. The problem seems to be significantly acute for older married girls who might not realise that they needed to put in a declare for the next pension when their husband turned 65.

Beneath this technique, married girls might declare an enhanced fee of state pension when their husband reached the age of 65, in circumstances the place they solely had a small state pension entitlement in their very own proper.

The identical guidelines utilized to widows and divorced girls.

At present charges, the pension {that a} married lady can declare based mostly on her husband’s document of Nationwide Insurance coverage contributions stands at £80.45 per week, though that is supplied that their husband was receiving a full primary state pension.

That is 60 % of the total primary state pension fee of £134.25.


Married girls on low pensions ought to have been awarded this 60 % fee routinely when their husband turned 65, since March 2008.

Nevertheless, earlier than that date, they wanted to say the uplift.

Information obtained in a Freedom of Info request submitted earlier this yr by LCP companion Steve Webb to the Division for Work and Pensions (DWP) means that many tens of 1000’s of married girls who can be eligible for this fee aren’t receiving it.

Sir Steve, a former Minister of State for Pensions, stated that within the majority of circumstances it appears probably that it is because they haven’t actively claimed the uplift.

Nevertheless, the pensions commentator stated that in some circumstances it “will mirror the failure of DWP computer systems to routinely award the uplift”.

It is understood that in conditions the place girls wanted to make a declare, ought to they accomplish that belatedly, they’ll solely backdate their declare for 12 months – which means any uplift for the years previous to that is misplaced.

Along with gaps for married girls, the paper identifies different teams who could also be lacking out. These embody:

  • Hundreds of widows who look like on very low state pensions, effectively wanting the anticipated fee for a widow claiming on her late husband’s document;
  • Hundreds of divorced girls who ought to, in precept, be benefiting from the flexibility to ‘substitute’ the NI document of their ex-husband for the interval as much as the tip of their marriage;
  • Hundreds of girls aged 80 or over who ought to in precept be entitled to an £80.45 pension on a non-contributory foundation supplied that they fulfill a easy residency check.

LCP says it is troublesome to place exact figures on the numbers lacking out, however estimates that tens of 1000’s of girls are being paid much less in state pension than they’re entitled to.

To assist married girls establish if they could be entitled to a rise, LCP has launched a web-based calculator.

It permits girls to enter particulars about their age and state pension receipt and that of their husband.

Sir Steve is now calling on the federal government to analyze this subject as a matter of urgency, and urging them to routinely uplift the pensions of those that are entitled.

The pensions commentator can also be calling for a overview of the 2008 rule change which implies those that turned entitled to the next pension earlier than that date can solely now backdate a declare for 12 months.

The issue was initially highlighted following correspondence from readers of the web site That is Cash to its columnist Steve Webb.

Commenting, he stated: “It’s actually surprising that 1000’s of girls are being short-changed on their state pensions.

“The system is extremely complicated and few will pay attention to the particular guidelines for married girls, widows, divorced girls and the over 80s.

“But every of those teams appears to be dropping out in several methods.

“While DWP is keen to place issues proper on a case-by-case foundation when people get in contact, there may be clearly a scientific downside right here.

“It’s time for the DWP to take this subject critically and launch a full investigation into how so many ladies have been lacking out for therefore lengthy.”

A DWP spokesperson stated: “We’re conscious of quite a few circumstances the place people have been underpaid state pension.

“We corrected our information and reimbursed these affected as quickly as errors have been recognized.

“We’re checking for additional circumstances, and if any are discovered awards can even be reviewed and any arrears paid.”

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