MARTIN Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert has urged 230,000 people to check if they’re due thousands of pounds on their state pension.
Thousands of women may have been underpaid their state pension for years because of government IT failures.
Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert has warned women to check their state pensions
The consumer guru’s MoneySavingExpert has urged women who hit state pension age before April 2016 to check if they’re due a payout in the latest weekly newsletter.
Widows, divorcees and women who rely on their husband’s pension contributions for some of their pension entitlement are mainly affected.
Women over 80 – regardless of whether they’re married or not – should also look to see if they’re owed cash.
The average amount that you could get back is £6,000, according to MoneySavingExpert.
But the amount you are due could be lower, or even higher than that – one divorced woman won back a £60,000 lump sum after missing out on the money for years.
The IT error, which occurred for over 30 years, meant the Pension Strategy Computer System couldn’t accurately uprate an element of the State Pension called the Graduated Retirement Benefit.
It means thousands of people did not receive their full entitlement of the state pension.
Estimates show that retirees were underpaid £1billion in total because of the blunder.
The DWP is contacting those affected, but many women could still be missing out on thousands of pounds.
Who is affected by state pension underpayments?
Retired stay-at-home mums may have missed out on a pension hike when their husbands retired.
The injustice only affects wives who retired before 2016. After this date, women’s pensions were no longer linked to their husbands.
Their payments should have risen to 60% of their husband’s basic state pension, the amount women with low national insurance contributions got under the old pension system.
How much you’ll get in compensation depends on when your husband retired.
If it was between April 2008 and 2016, you’ll get all your losses back as the Government should have increased your pension automatically.
Those whose husbands retired before 2008 had to apply for the extra cash, although in many cases they lost out because they didn’t know about it.
Women in this position can only get a year of backdated payments.
This online tool was launched by former pensions minister Steve Webb on behalf of actuarial firm LCP, after he first uncovered cases of women being paid the wrong state pension via his This Is Money column.
If you use the LCP calculator and think you’re eligible for a top-up in either scenario, then the DWP should pick up the error in their own records too.
How do I get a payout?
The DWP started working to fix the problem on January 11, 2021 and says it expects to make repayments by the end of 2023.
If you are owed money, you’ll likely have to sit tight and wait for the DWP to send you a letter confirming your payment.
Those considered at “high risk” like those over 80 and widows are being prioritised.
For more information, you can call the Pension Service too.
One mum won back £89,000 after being underpaid on her state pension.
Here are six new state pension errors that could mean you’re owed thousands of pounds.