Are you one of the many women missing out on £1,000s of state pension?

21st April

Here Stephen Palmer of Cranwell Wealth Solutions, a local Uckfeld and Heathfield financial planning practice, explains who should check their state pension to find out if they are owed far more.

Who should check?

Back in October 2020 Martin Lewis highlighted an issue of under payments of state pension that will affect many women. The news he broke has already ensured significant state pension pay-outs for many since. The issue effects only married women, including widows and divorcees who reached the state pension age before April 2016. This group of women are being advised to check whether they have been underpaid their state pension. Also, ladies who are over 80; whether married or not are also being encouraged to check. Many could be owed £1,000s in state pension.

Some women who are owed will be lucky enough to receive an automatic pay-out, but not all will. In this article I have explained the difference between those who will need to claim themselves and those who do not need to enquire and the top up should now happen automatically.

But before we get into the detail, it can be extremely helpful to first watch the full explanation of the issue from Martin Lewis himself:

Courtesy of ITV’s The Martin Lewis Money Show from 29 October 2020.

Who should check their state pension:

Here are the women who are likely to have been underpaid – there’s some overlap though, they’re not mutually exclusive and it’s possible you could fall into more than one category.

  • Group 1 – those most unlikely to receive an automatic pay out and need to take action themselves:
    • A woman who divorced after retiring and who haven’t had their pension reassessed.
    • A woman whose husband turned 65 before 17 March 2008 and who is being paid less than 60% of their husband’s basic state pension.
    • A married woman who’s on zero basic state pension; but getting a small amount of graduated retirement benefit.
  • Group 2 – Those who should receive their top-ups automatically:

The Government is currently reviewing pension records to find those who should have received an automatic uplift in their pension; but didn’t. This includes you if you’re:

  • A woman whose husband turned 65 on or after 17 March 2008 and who is being paid less than 60% of their husband’s basic state pension.
  • A widow whose husband died after April 2008 and who was being paid less than 60% of his state pension while he was still alive.
  • A widow whose state pension did not increase when their husband died.
  • Someone who’s 80+ and isn’t being paid at least £80.45 per week in state pension.

If any of these situations apply to you, you will be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over the next few months if you’re due a pension boost.

To check if you are owed, the Money Saving Expert provides an incredibly thorough explanation and guide for each group as well as links to the pension service.

If we can be of any help with navigating the process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Wishing you all the best with the process.

Stephen Palmer

Founder of Cranwell Wealth Solutions, Uckfield and Heathfield.