Women: State Pension Uplift

Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Nick Smith Nick Smith Labour, Blaenau Gwent

What recent estimate she has made of the number of women who have been underpaid their state pension uplift as a result of an administrative error.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

We are aware of a number of cases where individuals have been underpaid category BL basic state pension. The Department has already taken action to correct our records, and we reimbursed those affected as soon as any errors were identified.

Photo of Nick Smith Nick Smith Labour, Blaenau Gwent

Informed commentators say that more than 100,000 women will be impacted by this error. Many will be older women and more likely to be living in poverty. To put this right, will the Minister agree to an investigation into this issue? Will he look again at the rules on backdating to ensure that those women are treated fairly in the future?

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I note the hon. Gentleman’s comments, and we invite anyone who thinks that they have failed to claim a state pension increase that they are eligible for to contact the Department through the Pension Service helpline. Alternatively, Pension Wise can assist.

Photo of Jack Dromey Jack Dromey Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Pensions)

Case after case is being uncovered of retired women being underpaid on their pension. To this day, many do not know about the Department’s mistake, and some have tragically died before learning of it. This must be properly investigated. Crucially, those women deserve justice. When will the Department work out how many women have been affected, and who they are? Will it bring forward a plan to contact them so that the women who built Britain get the justice in retirement that they deserve?

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

As the hon. Gentleman is aware, this dates from March 2008, when married women receiving a low-level state pension based on their national insurance record should have had their entitlement reviewed when their husband reached state pension age. The Department for Work and Pensions is looking into the matter, and we invite any individual who feels that they are affected to claim a state pension increase by contacting the Pension Service helpline or Pension Wise.