State pension: 'Thousands getting less than entitled to' with over £1BILLION unclaimed
Published: 16/04/2023- 14:06
Updated: 16/04/2023- 14:08
Thousands of people on state pension are receiving less than they are entitled to as more than £1billion remains unclaimed, according to the latest release from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Married women, widowed and those over 80 could be due more state pension because of underpayment errors between January 2021 and February 2023.
The government department say that as many as 237,000 pensioners have been underpaid around £1.46 billion.
The issue largely affects women retiring under the old State Pension system when many did not receive the State Pension payment they were entitled to under their husband’s National Insurance record.
As many as 237,000 pensioners have been underpaid around £1.46 billion
While other women did not get a boost to their weekly State Pension payments that they were entitled to when their husbands died.
Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown, has warned that despite the progress locating underpayments, the DWP has “a mountain still to climb”.
“DWP is making progress in dealing with State Pension underpayments but there’s a mountain still to climb," she told the Daily Record.
"So far almost 47,000 underpayments have been identified with £300m being repaid.
“However, with estimates suggesting as many as 237,000 pensioners have been underpaid £1.46bn it is clear this is a situation that is not going to be resolved any time soon and in the meantime thousands of pensioners are getting less than what they are entitled to.”
She continued: “The issue mainly affects women retiring under the old State Pension system.
"Some were unaware of the problem but many who queried the issue with DWP over the years were told there was no issue with many enduring real financial hardship as a result.
“These women have been let down on a gigantic scale and need resolution as soon as possible.”
There are six specific groups who are strongly encouraged to contact the pension service to see if they could be entitled to more State Pension.
Six specific group are being urged to contact the Pension service
These groups include, married women whose husband turned 65 before March 17, 2008 and who have did not claim an uplift to the 60 per cent rate and widows whose pension was not increased when their husband died.
Widows whose pension is now correct, but who think they may have been underpaid while their late husband was still alive, particularly if he reached the age of 65 after March 17, 2008 are also encouraged to check.
As well as over-80s who are receiving a basic State Pension of less than £80.45 and widowers and heirs of married women, where the woman has now died but was underpaid state pension during her lifetime.
And divorced women, particularly those who divorced after retirement, to check that they are benefiting from the contributions of their ex-husband.