State Pension blunder: 200,000 people owed money – are you one? How to check

Budget 2021: Sunak announces pension lifetime allowance freeze

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State Pensions are issued to Britons once they have reached State Pension age, providing a top-up to any private or workplace pensions throughout retirement. However, an investigation has uncovered hundreds of thousands of women weren’t given the uplift they were owed once their husbands reached State Pension age.

The investigation was carried out by This is Money and former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb and found 200,000 women could be owed an average payout of £13,500.

This staggering amount comes as they were underpaid their state pension for years.

Since the study, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said it is checking its records to find married women who may be underpaid.

However there is a risk some people – in particular widows, older married women and those over the age of 80s may be missed out.

Read More: Pension Schemes Act: DWP issues update on pensions dashboard plans

How to check if you are affected

Mr Webb and actuarial firm LCP have launched an online tool for women to find out if they are eligible for the payout.

You can click here to go to the calculator and find out whether you are eligible for the payout.

Those likely to be affected are married women who retired on small state pensions before April 2016.

Once their husbands had reached State Pension age their payments should’ve risen to 60 percent of their husband’s basic State Pension.

This increase is now automatic and has been since 2008, however previously women had to apply to get the increase.

Now the DWP has published a plan to tackle the underpayments.

They estimate approximately £2.7billion of arrears is owed to around 200,000 women.

How much is State Pension?

There are two types of State Pension, the full new State Pension and basic State Pension.

You are eligible for the new State Pension if you are:

  • a man born on or after April 6, 1951
  • a woman born on or after April 6, 1953

You are eligible for the full basic pension if you were born before:

  • April 6, 1951 if you’re a man
  • April 6, 1953 if you’re a woman

The full new State Pension is £175.20 per week, and the full basic State Pension is £134.25 per week

However, the actual amount you get depends on your National Insurance record.

You can check your projected State Pension amount via the Government calculator here.

You will usually need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any State Pension. They do not have to be 10 qualifying years in a row.

This means for 10 years at least one or more of the following applied to you:

  • you were working and paid National Insurance contributions
  • you were getting National Insurance credits for example if you were unemployed, ill or a parent or carer
  • you were paying voluntary National Insurance contributions

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