STATE PENSION

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Re: STATE PENSION

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Whenever there is talk of re-nationalising the monopoly gravy trains, snouts are lifted from the trough telling us how much the Pension funds will suffer. An admission that while services are on the decline there's still rich pickings to be had. Privately run pension funds are there to maximise investment returns whether its from tobacco or arms sales very few have an ethical agenda. Knowing of the possibility re-nationalisation pension funds should be re-trenching and diversifying into other sectors.
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A prime example is the automatic scream of pain and rage from the rented house sector as soon as any form of regulation is announced. How anyone can defend the insecurity of most modern rent contracts where even a family not in arrears and a good tenant can be evicted at any time with 3 months notice is beyond belief.
Oh, and of course the hoary old myth about capital flight under Labour is rearing its head again.
The bald truth is that all Parties on the whole do just enough to safeguard pensions to stave off a revolt in the polls. That's why the Labour proposal to right a wrong is so refreshing.
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Re: STATE PENSION

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plaques wrote: 25 Nov 2019, 11:15 Whenever there is talk of re-nationalising the monopoly gravy trains, snouts are lifted from the trough telling us how much the Pension funds will suffer. An admission that while services are on the decline there's still rich pickings to be had. Privately run pension funds are there to maximise investment returns whether its from tobacco or arms sales very few have an ethical agenda. Knowing of the possibility re-nationalisation pension funds should be re-trenching and diversifying into other sectors.
I would expect the return on govt bonds to be about ( a little less due to less unpredictiblity of net cash flows), the same as a profit dividend.
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Re: STATE PENSION

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Is it time on statistics which have tended to do cut of age bands at 60 or 65 to move them to the State Pension Age (for Men) across the board? persons over 60 who now have to work/claim working age benefits are going to behave economically differently and have changing health outcomes.
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Re: STATE PENSION

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Hundreds of thousands of married women who hit state pension age before April 2016 could be missing out on £1,000s of extra state pension – and can now claim more.

That’s because if their basic state pension is less than 60% of their husband's, they are due a top up to that amount, but many didn’t get it either due to a computer glitch, or because they didn't know they had to claim.

This can be a substantial amount of money, for example, a woman who reached state pension age in 2010 and who currently gets £55 a week as a basic state pension could be entitled to an extra £1,300 a year if her husband gets the full basic state pension, plus around £5,000 backdated as a lump sum if he retired in 2015.

Why are some married women missing out?
When the state pension was first set up after the Second World War, as men were the primary earners, and women didn’t work for as many years as men – married women were given a proportion of their husband’s state pension – and they paid less in national insurance contributions because of it.

That state pension system was in place until 6 April 2016, when it was changed. So those who hit state pension age before then could be entitled to a boosted pension amount. Yet many married women either:

Didn't know they had to claim 60% of their husband's basic state pension entitlement, or
Didn't know a computer error meant they weren't getting the right amount. Those whose husbands retired after 16 March 2008, should’ve been given the boost automatically but a Government computer glitch meant it never happened. It didn't hit everyone, hence why it's key to check your records.
Who is most likely to be owed money?
Years on your NI record are usually built up from being in work, and paying NI contributions, or sometimes while caring for a child or others. To qualify for the full state pension, you would need 30 'qualifying years' of national insurance (NI) record if you retired between April 2010 and April 2016, or 38 years before that.

Yet if your basic weekly state pension is less than 60% of your husband's basic state pension amount you could’ve been due a top up.

So that means you could be owed money if

You are a woman married to a man (note civil partnerships and same-sex marriages are excluded).
You reached pension age before 6 April 2016
Your basic weekly state pension is less than 60% of his basic weekly amount.
What exactly should’ve happened then depends on the date your husband hit his state pension age...

Husband reached state pension age on or after 17 March 2008 – if you missed out it can be backdated all the way. Your pension should’ve been topped up to 60% of his amount automatically. However, some women missed out due to a failure of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) computers to award the uplift. If you're in this group, you can make a claim to start earning at the correct rate, plus get backdated payments all the way back to the date you qualified for the boost (or the date of the computer glitch if later).

Husband reached state pension age before 17 March 2008 – it can be backdated one year. The boosted payment was not automatic and you needed to claim it. However, many women didn't know about it so didn't claim it, meaning they missed out on the increase. If you're in this group, you can make a claim to start earning at the correct rate and get backdated payments for the boosted amount for 12 months.
The backdating may also include interest and consolatory payments, though DWP says these are considered on a case-by-case basis and will depend on individual circumstances.
How to check if you're missing out
Both you and your husband both need to check your annual state pension statements, specifically the bit listing the amount of basic state pension (not the total as that may include payments such as the second state pension or pension credit). If you don't have this information, you can both contact the Pension Service and ask how much you're getting in basic state pension.

If you want help to check whether you're missing out, pension advisory firm Lane, Clark & Peacock has developed a calculator to do it (this is the firm former pension minister Steve Webb, who broke this story, now works for). You'll need to enter a few details about your and your husband's ages, the dates when you both hit state pension age, and details of how much you're both getting as your basic state pension amounts.

If your husband retired before March 2008, you can get pension backdated a year and the boosted amount going forward. This example shows how much you might be entitled to:

Mrs Smith hit state pension age in July 2005 with 10 of the required 38 years of national insurance (NI) contributions. She currently gets a state pension of £34.42 a week based on her own NI record. Yet Mr Smith rhit state pension age in December 2006 and has a full NI record, so she's entitled to claim a boosted £80.55 a week on 2020/21 rates. She can also backdate her claim by up to 12 months, meaning she could get about £2,300 as a lump sum, plus the boosted amount in future.
However, if your husband retired on or after 17 March 2008 and you're not getting at least £80.55, it's due to a DWP error (£80.55 is the current year's payment, it would have been less in past years). You could be entitled to a boosted weekly rate and be able to claim £1,000s in backdated pension, as this example shows...

Mrs Jones hit state pension age in June 2010. She qualifies for a state pension of £55 a week on her own NI record this year. Mr Jones reached state pension age in May 2015 and has a full NI record.

Mrs Jones should have had a basic pension of 60% of her husband's amount automatically awarded, though a computer glitch meant it wasn't. She can backdate her claim to May 2015, when her husband started claiming his state pension. She could get about £5,000 back as a lump sum, and will get the boosted amount in future.

If you think your state pension is lower than you should be receiving, then you need to get in contact with the Pension Service.

If you're one of the women whose husbands hit state pension age before 17 March 2008, meaning you didn't get the automatic payments and you were meant to claim them, you need to make a claim as soon as possible, as you're only able to backdate the amount you're owed by 12 months. So the sooner you do it, the more you get, as you'll get the previous 12 months as well as the £80.55 weekly amount in future - this is the 2020/21 amount, it'll go up each April.

For those whose husbands hit state pension age on or after 17 March 2008, it's slightly different. You missed out on what should have been automatic payments, and will get backdated payments to when things went wrong. There's less urgency for your claim, but the sooner you make it, the sooner you'll get the payment, and get an increased weekly payout too.

However, do be aware there may currently be a delay in payments due to the volume of work that staff are dealing with during the pandemic.

If you do find you're being paid too little, please email us and let us know why, and what DWP said when you got in touch to claim it.

What if my husband has died?
If he had a more complete national insurance contribution record than you, you should get your basic state pension paid based on his record rather than your own for the period since he passed away. So, if he was able to claim the full basic state pension (£134.25 a week in 2020/21), you should have received that after he died.

That should have happened automatically, but if it didn't happen, contact the Pension Service and ask it to give you a backdated boosted payment from the date your husband died.

However, if you were both retired for a time before your husband died, you may be able to claim a boosted amount for the period he was alive based on the backdating rules above.

What does the Department for Work and Pensions say?
A DWP spokesperson said: "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."

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/ ... -on-p1-00/
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Re: STATE PENSION

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I didn't know that Kev and I suspect many women don't either. Good post and I hope many take the trouble to read it.
One is forced to ask why this hasn't been blazed from the hill tops by the DWP. Could it be because it is cheaper to stay stum?
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Re: STATE PENSION

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Some years ago my friends wife was coming up 60 and inquired about her pension. She didn't have enough stamps to give her even a partial pension. The returning advice from the pension people was for her to buy back some of the years she had missed. I pointed out that she was able to claim a full pension on her husbands contributions because of their age difference. Outcome Happy bunny.
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Re: STATE PENSION

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While there have been for the last couple of years general messing about with retirement pensions and statebenefits for married persons of state retirement age, including reductions to universal credit where one spouse is below retirement age (and it gets more complex if they have children of child benefit age), the examples above though, assuming no other income(earned, high savings or work-related pension/annunity/rental income etc), there looks like there would be qualified for pension credit (As couple or as a surviving spouse) anyway, and therefore the actual amount 'lost' might be minimal if the other claims were made. Of course if other income precluded pension credit then the additional (correct) pension is indeed handy and due.
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Re: STATE PENSION

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Well done Ken!
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Re: STATE PENSION

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Should changes to state pension age be reversed ?

Given the probably extra cost of furlough subsidies and a probably looming of young people being less likely to get jobs depending on the outfall from Covid-19's economy effects, bringing older people into the option of part or whole pensions at a younger age than has been planned for , could be better net cost outcomes, younger people can earn and spend more , older people will not need to be risked in a public facing environment.
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Re: STATE PENSION

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Six years late of course but Sally has just received her invitation to claim her state pension in October. It has raised a question though that I will be contacting the pension service about tomorrow. Her projected pension amount based on the "New State Pension", same rate that I am on is actually £50 per month more than what I receive. The New State Pension rate is for those who reached pension age after 2016 which I did but for some reason ended up on a lower rate. I have more credits than Sally and we both have considerably more than the 30 required to claim the pension. I will be having a word, by my reckoning they owe me about £850 in underpayment.
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Re: STATE PENSION

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I should add that shifting Sally's pension date by six years has lost her £50,000 if paid on the current rate.
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Re: STATE PENSION

Post by chinatyke »

Good luck Ian.

I hate to think how much they "owe" me simply because I live in China and not the Philippines or USA or Mauritius etc. I can't understand their logic of paying pension increases to some ex-pat pensioners and not all. I still pay UK income tax, they're not shy about collecting that from me wherever I live.
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Re: STATE PENSION

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The Golden Age of the Triple Lock is going to be suspended/ abolished soon so you can all look forwards to pensions slowly falling again in world league tables.
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Re: STATE PENSION

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Well, I rang the Work and Pensions number given on the website and was offered three options. Number 3 sounded the most likely so I selected that. Two more minutes of pre recorded dialogue and I was told to check the Gov.uk website or ring another number.

Onto the website and convince myself that the info I need is not there and there is no way to instigate a review from the website. Half the info is there but it is no good without access to your NI record. The catch 22 here is that you can no longer look at your NI record once your pension has started, so I cant factor in any reduced payments or any time I may have been contracted out of SERPS. First session to get the new number took about 5 minutes.

Second go, rang the number given then after multiple button choices and the most logical presses from me I arrived with Mark. Security checks to make sure I was who I said I was, then he asked me what I wanted. I said I thought I was being underpaid according to the information available to me on their website and that I can no longer work it out for myself as they hide my NI record from me. I pointed out that my wife has just received her invitation and projection of what she will receive under the New State Pension rules and that I am also supposed to be assessed on the same basis but my pension is being paid at a lesser rate. He then told me that he could not work it out for me as he did not have access to my records but he could request a review from some party that could but it would require him raising an internal email to some higher authority. Crack on I said, frantic typing sounds heard over the phone and five minutes later we are done, he said I should hear something from them within 7 - 10 days and if not to ring them back., (as if it could go wrong)! 15 minutes on the phone this time.
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Re: STATE PENSION

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Good luck with it Ian. I managed to get my PAYE reduction, for working from home, on the HMRC website. Confirmation came by post despite opting out and choosing email correspondence.
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Re: STATE PENSION

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It all goes to confirm my dread of having to deal with government departments on matters like that!
Good Luck Ian!
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Only those who get pension credit can bag a free TV licence from Aug, but 1m+ families who fail to claim may also miss out on £1,000s in council tax discounts, free dental care etc. PLS SPREAD WORD

From 1 Aug, free TV licences for over-75s will only be available to households where someone gets pension credit - just being eligible isn't enough. But despite us nagging for years, 1m+ of the UK's poorest families fail to claim the benefit due to a lack of info, or perhaps pride. Yet it can be worth £1,000s in its own right, plus it opens a gateway to free TV licences and much more. Full help in our Pension Credit guide, here's the lowdown...
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD - many who are eligible won't see this, so if you know someone you think could claim, tell 'em.
1m+ families miss out on pension credit worth £3,000/yr on average - who's entitled to claim it? If you're over state pension age, live in the UK, and earn less than £173.75/wk as a single person or £265.20/wk as a couple - including pensions, savings income and work - then pension credit tops up your income to those amounts. If you've some savings, you could get a separate sum on top. See who's entitled to pension credit for full help.

Note: If you've been financially impacted by coronavirus, you may be entitled to claim where previously you weren't, or you could get more, but either way you must act. Use the link above for full help on what to do.

Pension credit is also a gateway to TV licences and MUCH MORE. Most of these extras are for those who get the main element of pension credit, rather than those who only get savings credit. See what extras you're entitled to with pension credit, but to whet your appetite...

- Free TV licence for over-75s (from 1 Aug) - worth up to £157.50/yr.
- Council tax reduction - worth about £1,000/yr typically.
- Cold weather payments - worth £25/wk when it's really cold.
- Warm home discount - worth £140/yr.
- Free dental care - worth £100s/yr for some.
- Voucher for glasses/contact lenses - worth £39-£215 a time depending on your prescription.
- Housing benefit - could be worth £1,000s/yr.

Importantly, pension credit is not automatic so you MUST claim it - here's how. You can apply via Gov.uk if you've already claimed your state pension, but otherwise you'll need to phone the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234 (or the NI Pension Centre on 0808 100 6165). They will fill in the form for you, though you can also request it to be posted to you, whether for yourself or someone else.
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Re: STATE PENSION

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The Appeal Court hearing on the Judicial Review of the 1950's Women's Pension issue will be live streamed on YouTube starting this morning at 11am.

I have just realised also that I have not had a reply from the DWP yet on why I am being short changed with my pension. Must chase that!
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Good and timely post Kev. Absolutely right. I qualify for a small credit weekly and get some of those benefits. Be aware that there are two levels of credit, I am on the lowest and you have to be on the higher one to get all the benefits you mention.
It was a very easy process claiming it, I was surprised when I did it.
Ian, re. the delay to your claim. There has been a massive slow-down in the speed of action by public departments, partly because of funding cuts but also Covid related. Many complaints about things like passport applications, probate negotiations and similar matters.
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PanBiker wrote: 21 Jul 2020, 09:21 I have just realised also that I have not had a reply from the DWP yet on why I am being short changed with my pension. Must chase that!
I forgot to chase so in an idle moment today I did just that. Rang the numbers as before, went o the merry-go-round for about 15 minutes then got through to Charlotte. Related all my details again and she found my previous call logged on the system and the fact that nothing had been actioned although the promised 7 -10 days had turned into 8 weeks! More frantic typing heard for about 3 minutes, my review of pension payments due is now marked as urgent and I should hear something within 10 days by letter. Of course I have heard this before, 22nd of June actually. Lets see if Charlotte has more persuasive powers than Mark who I spoke to last time.

If I am correct in my assumptions and calculating the difference between the rate I currently receive and the New State Pension rate that I should be paid on, the DWP owe me just short of £1400 not the £850 I calculated before.
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Go for them Ian. Yet one more example of the paralysis that is gripping our public services. You'd think we were living in a tin pot third world economy not a 'world-beating' economy!
From what I hear, this stasis is common across all the services.
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I have imagined that the DWP and other such benefit services may just have a pre written book of "catch 22" scenarios that they can reach for when someone makes a claim. That's how it always seems to work for me anyway. Never qualified for any state benefits as top up or anything else even when I was made redundant on two occasions. The first time when I was 40 years old it took 10 weeks before I got my first unemployment benefit payment and even then they only sent me £30.00. I went self employed three weeks later. Maggie wouldn't let me have the £2000 start up grant for new businesses either. Apparently I didn't qualify for that as I had not done one of her 6 month retraining schemes to give me a completely different skill set to the one I already had. :sad: I opened my business banking account (and got a cheque book) with a £40 deposit (because that was all I had) and a handshake. We still had sentient bank managers then. Couldn't do that now, even if we had the banks.
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Of course they have Ian, a computerised script no doubt these days.
Bank managers... I too had a good bank manager, Mr Batkin at Lloyd's at Burnley. He gave me a bank account and a loan when nobody else would touch me with a barge pole, I was on £8-10-0 a week in those days and he lent me £2,200 to buy Hey farm repaying £15 a month. We never missed a payment.
Anyone remember the Social Contract? That's a forgotten corner these days.
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When I shook the hand of the manager at the Yorkshire, my new shiny account and cheque book came on the proviso that I did weekly accounts and took them in each Friday. My rules for him were that he could not have my house or my children. Never done bookkeeping as such so I contacted Graham who was the CLP treasurer at the time. Went up to his house in HIgherford one evening with a few tins and he taught me double entry bookkeeping in a couple of hours. I got myself a Collins register and set to recording all the ins and outs, not many in the first few weeks but it picked up. After about 4 or 6 weeks he relaxed the rules to monthly accounts. That's when I asked him for a small overdraft to aid cash flow which he granted. At about 3 months he told me my ledgers were the neatest prepared books he had ever seen and said I only needed to present yearly. A few years later he lent me several thousands with no interest on a handshake in order for me to complete a big job I had on during the summer holidays in one of the local secondary schools. He was a very nice bloke and probably the last of his management type. Unfortunately he took poorly and died from some variant of cancer. Banking was never the same with his loss. :sad:
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