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Is your state pension being underpaid?

The DWP announced at the start of March 2021 that they will be checking hundreds of thousands of pension records to see if people have been underpaid.

This means that some married women, widows and those aged over 80 should get payments without having to take any action. But other groups, such as married women whose husband turned 65 before 17th March 2008 and women who divorced after pension age, will still need to contact the Department if they want their pension to be reassessed. This web page gives more information about the position of different groups, as well as a calculator for married women to see if they are being underpaid.

Thousands of women may be receiving too little state pension.

In May 2020 we published a report which explained why we believe tens of thousands of married women covered by the old (pre April 2016) state pension system may be entitled to more state pension than they are currently receiving.

The calculator on this website enables married women to check if this applies to them. (Please note that this calculator does not apply to those living in countries such as Australia where UK state pensions are frozen and not updated each year).

Since then, we have heard from hundreds of women with questions about their state pension. This has helped us to identify other groups who may be missing out, and we have published a new report in response.

Groups who may wish to review their state pension (apart from the married women mentioned above) include:

  • Widows whose pension did not change when their husband died – when your husband died, your state pension should have been reviewed; you can inherit a basic state pension of up to £141.85 depending on your late husband’s contribution record, plus at least 50% of his additional state pension; If you are a widow, please see our widows pensions page here
  • Widows who may have been underpaid while their husband was still alive – if your husband reached pension age after 17th March 2008 and you received less than 60% of his basic state pension figure, you may have been underpaid; If you are a widow, please see our widows pensions page here
  • Divorced women, whose pensions can take account of the contributions of an ex husband provided the woman has not remarried; those who divorced post retirement may be especially at risk of underpayment;
  • Those aged 80 or over, who can claim a state pension of £85, regardless of their NI record, provided that they satisfy a basic residency test;
  • The heirs (widowers, sons/daughters etc) of women whose state pension may have been underpaid;

In each case, we have come across people who are not getting their correct entitlement and who need to contact the Pension Service to get this reviewed.

While we at LCP aren’t authorised to give advice on individual situations, if you have any concerns or questions about your pension you should contact the Pensions Service directly, or if you need some financial advice, please do choose a financial adviser who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority – you can find one via the Money Advice Service.

We would however be interested to hear how you get on if you do contact the Pension Service. If you'd like to get in touch, you can email Steve Webb at Steve.Webb@lcp.uk.com

For married women only, to check if you might be affected, you can answer a few simple questions below

Please note that you are providing your data on an anonymous basis; LCP does not store any of the personal data you input. You should always seek independent financial or legal advice before making any financial or investment decisions. LCP does not provide any warranty, guarantee, or representation as to the accuracy or sufficiency of the information featured on this page.

This page has been designed to provide information for married women. Information of relevance to divorced women can be found on the Pensions Advice Service website here, whilst information on the rules for widows can be found here. There are also special rules for those aged 80 or over which can be found here

Further reading on the ‘This is Money’ website


Information on this webpage does not constitute financial advice or other professional advice, nor a recommendation of a particular course of action.

Lane Clark and Peacock LLP, its officers or employees do not accept any responsibility or liability for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused by action taken (or a decision not to take action) as a result of information provided by this.

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