Married women who reached state pension age prior to April 2016 could be missing out on additional state pension income.
The MoneySavingExpert website reports this month that women whose basic state pension is less than 60% of their husband’s, are due a top up. Many didn’t get it either due to a computer glitch, or because they didn’t know they had to claim. Their website states:
“This can be a substantial amount of money. For example, a woman who reached state pension age in 2010 and who currently gets £55 a week as a basic state pension could be entitled to an extra £1,300 a year if her husband gets the full basic state pension, plus about £5,000 backdated as a lump sum if he retired in 2015.
When the state pension was first set up after the Second World War, as men were the primary earners, and women didn’t work for as many years as men – married women were given a proportion of their husband’s state pension – and they paid less in national insurance contributions because of it.”
Why has this happened?
On 6 April 2016, the Government changed the state pension rules, so those who reached state pension age before this date, could be entitled to an additional amount. But many women:
- Were not aware they could claim 60% of their husband’s basic state pension or,
- Did not get the right amount due to a computer error. If their husband’s retired after 16 March 2008 they should have been given the extra payments, so now need to check their records.