State Pension Correction Exercise
It was historically often possible to claim a larger State Pension amount based on a partner’s National Insurance record once someone reached their State Pension age. This would typically be a figure equal to 60% of the partners 'basic State Pension'. The people most likely to benefit from this are women born before April 1953. You may find the following link of help as it outlines the position in a number of circumstances: https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-through-partner.
Before March 2008, an individual needed to make a claim for any uplift. Subsequently it should have been applied automatically. The issue identified is that the former category may not have been aware of the need to claim. And for the latter the automatic process may not have happened correctly.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has responsibility for the State Pension. The DWP has acknowledged that some people have been underpaid and have started an exercise to rectify where this has happened. They have stated:
“Where underpayments are identified, the department will contact the individual to inform them of the changes to their State Pension amount and of any arrears payment they will receive in accordance with the law.”
You can read the full DWP statement here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/state-pension-correction-exercise-update.
There are some other groups of people who may have been underpaid their state pension and will not be corrected automatically so they should check with the Pension Service. Those affected may include divorced women who reached State Pension age before April 2016, and married women whose husband turned 65 before 17th March 2008.
The Pensions Advisory Service does not have access to anyone's State Pension records. The State Pension is administered by a Government department called the Pension Service. This means we cannot say for sure what the position is, for example whether the correct level of pension has been paid or not.
As the position depends on people’s circumstances, we strongly suggest you contact the Pension Service on 0800 731 0469. However, their lines are likely to be very busy so you could consider writing to them instead. Their contact details can be found at https://findpensioncentre.dwp.gov.uk/.
Where can I find out more?
If you need more information, please contact us. A pension specialist from our team will be happy to help with whatever pensions-related question you have. Our help is always free.