Women are missing out on state pension money

Hundreds of thousands of women are being paid less state pension than they are owed because of government errors.

Up to 370,000 women are being paid less state pension than they are owed because of government errors, according to Steve Webb of actuarial consultancy LCP. The problem affects women born before 1953, particularly widows, married or divorced women and those who are 80 or older. Many built up substantial pension entitlements through their husbands’ national insurance contributions, qualifying them for up to 60% of the basic state pension via this route alone. But the state pension system has changed regularly over the past 50 years with state record-keeping and calculations often failing to keep pace.

Webb’s research suggests many women are not even receiving the minimum state-pension entitlement, and may have no idea. In several cases LCP has obtained backdated pension payments worth thousands for those who were overlooked. The Department for Work and Pensions says it is now checking its own records and will pay compensation, though in some cases the victims will only be able to backdate claims for underpaid pension for a limited time. Webb is calling for a more wide-ranging investigation with full reimbursement guaranteed in every case. For now, LCP has an online calculator you can use to make a preliminary assessment of whether you may have been affected. See lcp.uk.com. 

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