Financial expert explains how to get the most from your pension
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The Department for Work and Pensions has sworn to track down 134,000 people who have been paid less than they are owed in state pension payments. A spokesperson from the DWP said: “The action we are taking now will correct the historical underpayments that have been made by successive governments and anyone impacted will be contacted by us to ensure they receive all that they are owed.” Express.co.uk goes through a full breakdown of who could be owed money, and how you can get what you’re owed back.
Could I have been underpaid?
There are some groups that are more likely to have been underpaid than others.
- Married and divorced women
- Over 80s
READ MORE: Pensions tax relief ‘slashed in March’ – Sunak Budget tax raid
Many married women have missed out on a one-off increase in payments due to changes in the process of claiming an additional amount of state pension based on a husband’s records.
This was only made automatic in 2008 – prior to this women needed to apply for the uplift, meaning anyone unaware they could boost their payments missed out.
Before new rules came into effect in April 2016, women could claim an enhanced pension when their husband retired.
This was based on the assumption that men were the main breadwinners while women sacrificed their careers and earnings to raise children.
Prior to 2016, under the old state pension if you have more than 30 NI payments as a married woman, you will receive less than the full basic state pension.
But back payments mean those left out can bump up the amount they are entitled to by substituting a husband or ex-husband’s credits for their own.
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Divorced women can substitute their NI record for their ex-husbands’ up to the date of the divorce – including those who divorced post-retirement.
This only applies to divorced women who are currently unmarried.
If you have been divorced multiple times and remain unmarried, only your most recent husband’s NI record applies to you.
Widowed women can receive additional earnings based off their own NI record and the pension of their deceased partner.
If the following applies to you, its likely you are due a back payment:
Your husband received the full basic state pension while you were still married
Your weekly basic state pension was less than the married woman’s standard rate while you were still married
Your husband reached state pension age after March 2008 or he was already over state pension age when you reached it
What should I do if I think I’ve been underpaid?
If you believe you may have been one of the tens of thousands who have received the incorrect amount of state pension, you should contact the Pensions Service.
You can contact them directly on 0800 731 0469.
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