Martin Lewis warns 200,000 women could be owed £13,500 from the DWP

Martin Lewis warns up to 200,000 women could be owed a £13,500 pension payout following years of underpayments

  • Thousands of women on ‘old’ pensions system could be owed a £13,500 payout 
  • Martin Lewis told viewers of his ITV show to check whether they were entitled 
  • He explained the error impacts married women and widows aged 67 and older 

Thousands of women on the ‘old’ pensions system could be owed a £13,500 payout, according to Martin Lewis.

The London-based finance expert told viewers of his eponymous ITV show on Thursday to check whether they’ve been underpaid their state pension after the system failed to automatically give up to 200,000 women a pay rise.

Martin explained that the error, which stretches back more than 20 years, impacts married women and widows aged 67 and older. 

Women who retired on small state pensions before April 2016 were supposed to see pension payments go up by 60 per cent of their husband’s basic state pension.

‘However a computer glitch meant thousands of people missed out,’ the presenter said.

Last week, the government finally agreed to repay the estimated £2.7billion owed in arrears to elderly women following a campaign by This is Money and former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb.

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Thousands of women on the ‘old’ pensions system could be owed a £13,500 payout, according to Martin Lewis (pictured)

The founder of MoneySavingExpert.com explained: ‘The Department for Work and Pensions has said it is now going to automatically refund and backdate. 

‘It will contact within the next few months those who should have got it, but a computer glitch meant they didn’t. 

Why are some women being underpaid state pension? 

Married women who retired on small state pensions before April 2016 should get an uplift to 60 per cent of their husband’s payments once he reaches retirement age too.

Since 2008, the increases are supposed to be automatic, but before that women had to apply to get the full sum they were due. 

The DWP encourages anyone who thinks they have failed to claim a state pension increase they are eligible for to contact the department. 

Martin added: ‘Some could be owed tens of thousands of pounds, with the average payout £13,500.

‘Under the terms, you’ll receive an automatic rebate if your husband was 65 or older on March 17, 2008 or you received no state pension uplift when they passed away.

‘However, some people won’t receive automatic payments,’ Martin continued. ‘You will need to claim yourself if your husband turned 65 before March 2008 and you’re being paid less than 60 per cent of the basic state pension.

‘You’ll also need to make a claim if you got divorced after retirement and your pension is less than your former husband’s one.’

The huge bill for shortchanging women on their pensions for decades was revealed by the Office for Budget Responsibility alongside the Budget announcements last week.

The OBR’s fiscal outlook says the DWP has ‘identified underpayments of state pension relating to entitlements for certain married people, widows and over-80s back to 1992’.

It goes on: ‘Our forecast reflects an initial estimate that it will cost around £3billion over the six years to 2025-26 to address these underpayments, with costs peaking at £0.7billion in 2021-22.’

The London-based finance expert (pictured) told viewers of his eponymous ITV show on Thursday to check whether they’ve been underpaid their state pension after the system failed to automatically give up to 200,000 women a pay rise

Current Pensions Minister Guy Opperman recently told MPs that more than a hundred government staff are now working to assess and manually correct individual records and more are being assigned to sort out the ‘significant legacy issue’.

He explained that many elderly women lost out on state pension because junior civil servants failed to manually update their individual records during past decades.

A DWP spokesperson said: ‘The action we are taking now will correct the historical underpayments that have been made by successive governments and anyone impacted will be contacted by us to ensure they receive all that they are owed.’ 

Martin (pictured) explained that the error, which stretches back more than 20 years, impacts married women and widows aged 67 and older

It added that married women who are already getting a state pension are required to make a separate claim to have it increased if their husband reached state pension age before 17 March 2008.

A claim is not needed if their husband reached state pension age from 17 March 2008 onwards.

The DWP encourages anyone who thinks they have failed to claim a state pension increase they are eligible for to contact the department.

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