Large numbers of retired women have recouped arrears worth up to £ 17,000 after losing their state pensions.
The scandal concerns married women, widows and divorcees who are entitled to a pension rate based on their husbands’ national insurance contributions.
Analysis by former Pensions Minister Sir Steve Webb found tens of thousands of women were probably not receiving the amount they were owed.
Victory: Anne Psaros, 79, received £ 11,600 after realizing the DWP failed to increase her pension to married woman’s rate when her husband retired over a decade ago
Since the Daily Mail published details of the scandal in May, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has already paid out at least £ 750,000 – but Sir Steve says the real figure owed must run into millions of pounds .
Elderly women and their families are now asked to verify that their state pension is correct. DWP payment arrears are worth an average of £ 9,000.
Women who reached retirement age before April 2016 are eligible to claim a pension equal to 60% of their husband’s full basic pension rate at the age of 65.
The state’s basic pension now pays £ 134.25 per week, so a woman who earns less than £ 80.45 risks missing out.
The DWP was supposed to automatically increase the pensions of these women after March 2008, while those whose husbands had reached retirement age before that date had to claim it themselves.
Lynda Hallaway, 74, was only getting £ 57 a week, despite her husband John, 73, having reached retirement age in 2012. She now earns £ 80.45 and received a down payment of £ 9,160 .
The DWP is now checking its records for married women who may not have received the correct rate since March 2008.
It comes after Money Mail revealed last month how essential letters informing women they were entitled to the best rate were being sent to their husbands, rather than them.
Do you have something to say
Money Mail received over 1,000 letters and e-mails from readers who feared they had been deprived of their state pension. Here are some success stories:
Following your article, I contacted the DWP. I have now received £ 16,938. Yes, £ 16,938! I cannot thank you enough.
I contacted the DWP and after six weeks I received a lump sum of just over £ 8,500 and my pension more than doubled from £ 38.24 to £ 82.89. I hope the others will have the same success.
HH, par e-mail.
I received a deposit of £ 6,169.61 covering the December 2012 underpayments and my pension has been updated from £ 62.65 per week to £ 83.13.
CK, by e-mail.
My wife, 73, just received £ 17,149 from the DWP. We also received a letter saying she would receive £ 442.88 in interest.
Under the old rules on public pensions, widows are entitled to the same basic public pension as their husbands. And ex-wives can also claim a pension based on their ex-husband’s NI contributions until the date of divorce.
The families of women who have since died will have the right to claim any missed money.
Meanwhile, all retirees over 80 who have lived here for ten years are entitled to at least 60% of the state’s basic pension, regardless of their marital status.
But Sir Steve’s analysis revealed that tens of thousands of women were receiving less than 60 percent of the state’s basic full pension.
Sir Steve, now a partner at pension consultancy LCP, says the government’s investigation would likely result in tens of millions of pounds being paid.
But he says, “This check of records should be comprehensive, rather than restricted. Otherwise, this problem will growl over and over again and women will continue to miss it. Lump sum arrears will be taxed as if the pension had been paid on time.
Anne Psaros, 79, was thrilled to receive £ 11,600 after realizing that the DWP failed to increase her pension to married woman’s rate when her husband retired more than a decade ago.
His pension has also increased from £ 23.52 per week to £ 80.45.
Anne, from Poole, Dorset, contacted the DWP after her husband Anthony, 76, read the scandal in our report. “I am so amazed that my husband heard about it in the Mail. We couldn’t overcome our luck.
Lynda Hallaway, 74, was only receiving £ 57 a week – despite her husband John, 73, reaching retirement age in 2012.
Elderly women and their families are now asked to verify that their state pension is correct. DWP payment arrears are worth an average of £ 9,000
The mother-of-two, from New Ellerby, near Hull, saw her pension increase to £ 80.45 and was in arrears of £ 9,160.
Lynda says, “I would encourage anyone who thinks their pension is underpaid to have it checked.
To see if you may have missed, go to lcp.uk.com/is-your-state-pension-being-underpaid/ If you think you’ve been underpaid, call the Work and Pensions Department on 0800 731 0469.
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