Following years of being underpaid their state pension, thousands of married women could be due a whopping windfall of thousands of pounds. First exposed earlier this year, the scandal has seen elderly, widowed and divorced women lose out when their state pension didn’t rise based on their husband’s contributions.
Their payments should have gone up to 60 percent of their husband’s basic state pension, but thousands of women did not get this boost.
Since 2008, the increase has been automatic but previous to that, women had to apply to make sure they got the full amount owed.
New figures released by the Office for Budget Responsibility have shown the average payouts for the first time.
Widowed retirees are owed an average £17,000, rising to £23,000 for married women.
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As many as 72,000 over-80s are set to receive an average payout of more than £10,000 over the next five years.
It is estimated the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will give out £2.9billion in refunds.
The government will hand back £570million every year until 2026 to reimburse the women affected.
So, how should women check if they are affected?
Sir Steve Webb, former pensions minister, has created an online tool at lcp.com.
Women who get a state pension of less than £80.45 per week are being encouraged to check if they’re entitled to money.
Those on small pensions, who are married, widowed or in a civil partnership and retired before April 2016 might be affected.
The following should get their money automatically from the DWP:
- Married women who reached state pension age before April 2016, and whose husbands turned 65 on or after March 17 2008
- Widowers who didn’t see their pension increase when their husband was alive
- Women who may have been underpaid since the death of their husbands
The increase is happening due to the start of a new tax year in the UK.
As a result, confirmation has been gained that the Married Woman’s Pension rate is to rise from £80.45 to £82.45 per week.
Across the course of a year, then, eligible women may expect to receive a maximum of just over £4,200 from the DWP.
The Government has also explained a process which is known as the reduced rate of National Insurance for married women.