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700,000 people may be due state pension backpay after DWP error – are you?


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A payment issue, impacting mostly women, means many people are thought to have been underpaid their state pension. The problem relates mostly to the older state pension scheme known as the basic state pension.

As part of this, women were able to claim a state pension based on the National Insurance record of their husband, deceased husband, or ex-husband.

The vast majority of payments were issued to eligible Britons without error, however, a subsequent investigation has highlighted thousands were underpaid.

A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) scheme is now identifying those who have been underpaid, and seeking to fairly reimburse individuals.

There has, however, been an important update surrounding those who have been underpaid.

READ MORE: 1950s-born woman avoids using heating as she waits for state pension

However, when it comes to backpay, the DWP permanent secretary stated there could be a “wide variety” in how much different affected individuals actually receive.

He explained: “The reason why there is potentially a wide variety is that some people weren’t getting what they were entitled to in terms of the state pension, but they were then topped up through Pension Credit.

“So, you have some people who were underpaid, but were paid up on the Pension Credit.

“But when we calculate how much they’re owed, we calculate how much Pension Credit they received which they wouldn’t have received if they received the right state pension.”

If a person believes they have been underpaid the state pension, they can take action.

The correction exercise is being managed by the Pension Service, which can be contacted on 0800 731 0469 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm).

Alternatively, Britons could write to them at The Pension Service, Post Handling Site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 1AF.

When reaching out about a potential underpayment, people are encouraged to have the following information to hand:

  • National Insurance number
  • Details of what a person currently receives
  • Spouse or civil partner’s name, date of birth, date of death (if applicable) and National Insurance number
  • Details of how much a spouse or civil partner receives in state pension (or whatever they received before their death).


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