Thanks to the excellent Today programme on Radio 4 for this nugget which was a main news item last week.  The story emanates from excellent work done by Sir Steve Webb the former pensions minister throughout this year.

It has been revealed that over £1bn worth of state pension payments have been withheld in error under the rules of the old state pension.  The issue was caused by errors made over a period of many years at the Department of Work and Pensions.

Married women who had not accumulated a sufficient level of pension entitlement could claim up to 60% of the full pension based on their husband’s national insurance contribution record.  Sadly, many were unaware or misinformed.  Some individuals claim to have been repeatedly incorrectly informed that their payments were correct even when they were as little as £1 per week.  The issue is estimated to affect 134,000 individuals, mostly women.

The average amount those affected were short changed by is almost £9,000 per person.  Sadly the discovery has come far too late for some who have since passed away.

Given our direct experience of the levels of complexity inherent within the state pension system, such errors do not come as a surprise.  All the more reason to take control of your personal finances and make sure you are getting what is rightly yours.  Whether that be your state pension, saving costs related to your outgoings or having the very most efficient investment portfolio.

Whilst work is being done to trace those affected, it is currently estimated that it will take over two years to complete.  We would advocate a more proactive approach.  Check in on your own payments or those of your relatives to ensure that the correct amount due is being received.  

If you do uncover a shortfall and are successful in claiming recourse, we’d love to hear about it!

Posted by: Matthew Kiddle | Posted in: News