Alert for women – check your state pension payments

If you are married, widowed or divorced, and reached the state pension age before April 2016 then this article from an Uckfield financial planning practice might be useful.

Stephen Palmer, founder of Cranwell Wealth Solutions, is sharing information first highlighted by Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis back in October 2020, about the under payment of state pension affecting many women.

The news Martin broke has already ensured significant state pension pay-outs for many since.

Stephen writes:

Who should check?

The issue affects only married women, including widows and divorcees, who reached the state pension age before April 2016. This group of women are being advised to check whether they have been underpaid their state pension.

Also, ladies who are over 80, whether married or not, are also being encouraged to check. Many could be owed £1,000s in state pension. 

Some women who are owed will be lucky enough to receive an automatic pay-out, but not all.

In this article I have explained the difference between those who will need to claim themselves and those who do not need to enquire and the top up should now happen automatically. 

But before we get into the detail, it can be extremely helpful to first watch the full explanation of the issue from Martin Lewis himself: 

Courtesy of ITV’s The Martin Lewis Money Show, 29 October 2020.

Who should check their state pension:

Here are the women who are likely to have been underpaid – there’s some overlap though, they’re not mutually exclusive and it’s possible you could fall into more than one category. 

  • Group 1 – those most unlikely to receive an automatic pay out and need to take action themselves:
    • A woman who divorced after retiring and who hasn’t had their pension reassessed.
    • A woman whose husband turned 65 before March 17, 2008 and who is being paid less than 60% of their husband’s basic state pension.
    • A married woman who is on zero basic state pension; but getting a small amount of graduated retirement benefit.
  • Group 2 – Those who should receive their top-ups automatically:

The Government is currently reviewing pension records to find those who should have received an automatic uplift in their pension, but didn’t. This includes you if you are:

  • A woman whose husband turned 65 on or after March 17, 2008, and who is being paid less than 60% of their husband’s basic state pension.
  • A widow whose husband died after April 2008 and who was being paid less than 60% of his state pension while he was still alive.
  • A widow whose state pension did not increase when their husband died.
  • Someone who’s 80+ and isn’t being paid at least £80.45 per week in state pension.

If any of these situations apply to you, you will be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over the next few months if you’re due a pension boost.

To check if you are owed, the Money Saving Expert provides an incredibly thorough explanation and guide for each group as well as links to the pension service. 

If we can be of any help with navigating the process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Wishing you all the best with the process. 

• Read more about Cranwell Wealth Solutions in their premium listing in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Financial Advice or Wealth Management.

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