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Petition Review state pension entitlements for all women who may have been underpaid

The DWP is checking its records to find women whose state pensions have been underpaid, but there are concerns these checks may not cover widows, older married women and the over 80s who may have be underpaid. DWP's search of its records must be comprehensive.

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Under the old state pension, women could claim a pension based on the contributions of a husband, ex-husband or late husband. DWP has acknowledged that in some cases this did not work and women are being underpaid, and is checking to find these women and compensate them. But others may be missing out, including widows, certain older married women and the over 80s. DWP must check their entitlements and provide compensation for any underpayment, rather than wait for them to claim, one-by-one.

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Government responded

This response was given on 18 November 2020

The Government is checking State Pension records. Where it is identified that someone is being underpaid, any backdated State Pension due in accordance with what the law allows will be paid.

In 2008, the law was changed so married women who were getting a State Pension in their own right didn’t have to make a further claim to have their State Pension increased using their husband’s National Insurance contributions if he reached State Pension age from 17 March 2008.

A number of married women have contacted DWP to check if their State Pension amount is correct because they are not sure their State Pension amount has been increased as it should have been when their husband reached his State Pension age. Where it has been identified that someone is being underpaid State Pension, DWP have paid any backdated State Pension due in accordance with the law.

DWP has started a wider State Pension records check to identify married women who may be being underpaid State Pension. The activity to identify those that are being underpaid their State Pension entitlement in accordance with the law is a significant task.

As a result of contact we have received from a small number of widows who have not seen their State Pension amount increased following their husband’s death, DWP is also exploring how it can most effectively check State Pension records to identify other widows and those aged over 80 who may not be getting their correct State Pension entitlement. For any identified instances where someone is being underpaid, payments will be backdated as the law allows.

Any individual who believes they are being underpaid State Pension should contact the Department on 0800 731 0469. Further details on how to do this through the Pension Service are available on the gov.uk website here
www.gov.uk/contact-pension-service

Department for Work and Pensions

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