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Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, has helped many Britons with their financial questions through a number of his platforms. He has also campaigned on a series of issues to try to make change which will help others. Today, Martin appeared on ITV’s Lorraine to provide insight into an issue which could potentially affect thousands of people.
He offered his expertise on the matter of state pensions, and explained many women could in fact be missing out on payments.
The matter has arisen, Martin explained due to an “antiquated” set of rules which affect certain married women, widowed women and those who are divorced.
He stated women aged 67 or older should take immediate action to see whether they are being underpaid, and if they could receive money back.
Under the old state pension system, married women were able to claim a basic state pension at 60 percent of the full rate based on their husband’s contributions.
This was the case if the pension they could receive through this action was bigger than their own contributions.
Before March 2008, women were required to make a claim in order to receive the enhanced version of the state pension.
Women who have husbands who reached the age of 65 before March 2008 should have received correspondence from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) informing them of the option to increase their state pension.
But many stated they received no such correspondence, and therefore could be entitled to backdated payments.
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In addition, since March 17, 2008 the uplift should have been applied automatically.
However, a computer glitch means these women may have not been aware their pension was not increased, and could receive back payments.
The DWP is now undertaking a thorough check of its records to determine who has been affected, but Martin has urged women to be proactive on the issue.
While in most cases, payments of state pension have been made accurately, there are some obscurities.
Martin also made reference to one success story, which he stated should “inspire” women to take action on the matter.
One Briton, named Jill, got in touch with the DWP to see if she could benefit after hearing about the state pension underpayment issue.
In the end, Jill managed to claim back £82,000 worth of state pension – a potentially life-changing sum for many.
While state pension back payments are likely to vary on a case by case basis, women could be set to receive a substantial sum in some instances.
Checking sooner rather than later, then, is likely to be particularly important if a person wishes to get money back.
For those who do wish to check whether they could be entitled, Martin explained there are a number of options.
There are now online calculators which can help Britons determine whether they are entitled, and indeed what they could receive.
However, reaching out to the DWP for further clarity is also recommended.
Recently, Peter Schofield, permanent secretary at the DWP, gave evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee about the matter.
He said that the DWP has received almost 11,000 cases thus far on the issue.
Some 7,200 of them were reviewed at the time he spoke, with 5,300 of them turning out to be correct.
However, as Martin echoed today, these cases can be complex and therefore involve a lot of work to resolve.
The DWP recently responded to Express.co.uk about the ongoing matter, with a spokesperson stating in early November: “We are aware of a number of cases where individuals have been underpaid state pension. We corrected our records and reimbursed those affected as soon as errors were identified.
“We are checking for further cases, and if any are found awards will also be reviewed and any arrears paid.”
Martin Lewis is the Founder and Chair of MoneySavingExpert.com. To join the 13 million people who get his free Money Tips weekly email, go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/
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