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Women pensioners missing out on their dues

written by Bella Palmer

Many women have been denied a full rebate despite missing out on a better pension for more than a decade

This year, thousands of women collecting the state pension found out they were being paid less than they ought to be.

Some have won tens of thousands of pounds back and had their pensions increased by hundreds of pounds a year.

But many have been denied a full rebate - despite missing out on a better pension for more than a decade.

Women who retired under the old state pension system before April 2016 can claim a rate equivalent to 60 per cent of their husband's basic state pension.

This married woman's rate is currently worth up to £80.45 a week. Widows and divorcees can claim the full rate their husband claimed — currently a maximum of £134.25 a week.

The married woman's rate was paid automatically to wives when their husbands reached state pension age after March 17, 2008. Those who did not get the increase because of Government error are able to receive every penny they missed out on.

But those who were entitled to the rate before that date were supposed to make a claim themselves. As a result, they are able to claim back only the money they missed out on over the past 12 months.

An estimated £20 million has already been paid back to women who missed out, and former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb estimates this figure could rise to £100 million.

Rebates handed to those who the Government should have paid automatically so far average around £10,000.

The pensions scandal has seen the DWP face difficult questions about how it previously turned away women asking for their fair share.

The ombudsman does not have the power to order the DWP to pay every woman what they missed out on; it can only tell the government to pay compensation to complainants.

The amount depends on the severity of the injustice and only the most devastating see compensation of more than £10,000 paid out.

The ombudsman aims to investigate most cases within three to six months, and completes 98 per cent within a year.


This article is for information purposes only.

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