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Are you a woman over 60 who doesn’t get a state pension? Get £1000s back

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Are you a woman over 60 who doesn’t get a state pension? Get £1000s back

93 replies 44.6K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin Money Saving ExpertMoneySaving Expert
8.3K posts
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What's this about?

A parliamentary question by a Lib Dem MP has shown that many women in their 60s are unnecessarily missing out on the state pension. To get a pension you need to have paid national insurance for 10 years of your working life; around 750,000 women are believed to be very near, but just under, this threshold.

By offering to pay a few £100, if you're near the threshold you can start to get the basic pension of £87 a week, and get a backdated payout from your 60th birthday, which is likely to be £1000s.

The reason I write 'offering' is actually you won't need to pay them money - it can just be taken from your payout. E.g you need to pay £340 of National Insurance to get your entitlement; and then you're owed £2000 back pay. The £340 then just comes out of the back pay.

Who's affected?

Women most likely to be affected are those that have paid some national insurance contributions but may have taken a break to have children, and not quite met the 10 year contribution quota to get a pension. But if you're a woman over 60 and aren't withdrawing a state pension, check now.

How to check

The quickest way to check is to call the National Insurance Deficiency Helpline on 0845 1479 302 or 0845 915 5996.

Explain your situation and ask how far off the required national insurance contributions you are to get a pension. You won't actually need to part with any money; the top-up contributions will simply be deducted from the backdated pension you are owed.

What you need to find out is

A. How much more national insurance must I pay to get a pension?
B. How much will the pension be each week?
C. How much will I get backdated?

Assuming the benefit of B and C outweigh A.... go for it!

Will I lose benefits elsewhere if I draw a pension?

Drawing a pension may affect other means-tested benefits, but this differs case by case. The best thing to do is follow the steps above to check whether you may be eligible and if it's worth it.

Also if you are married, have a husband more than 5 years older than you and are drawing a pension on his contributions you're unlikely to benefit.

More information

This was first reported on BBC Radio 4 by the Moneybox team... if you're looking at this it's well worth reading the article and listening to the audio.

Read the BBC article: Pension Boost For Older Woman
Listen to Radio 4: MoneyBox Item on this pension boost


IF YOU QUALIFY PLEASE DO REPORT HOW YOU GOT ON AND LET ME KNOW

Martin
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Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
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Replies

  • My mum has recently turned 60, but isn't claiming pension. Being rougly 40 years away from being able to get claim myself i don't know much about the whole pension malarky. If my mum is working still will this mean that she cannot claim? I have no idea.

    Thanks in advance.
  • If you are entitled to a State Pension, you can claim it whether or not you are working. It is not means-tested. You can however defer it and then get more later on.
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • One question I need to ask, how come women who have only paid 10 years can get a full pension? I have had to pay for 26 years and have 13 years of HRP allowed to get mine.

    Have I misunderstood?
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • RikkiRikki Forumite
    21.6K posts
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    Mum never started working till we had all grown up and never worked the full ten years before she had to claim incapacity benefit.

    Does being on Incapacity Benefit pay towards your national insurance contributions?
    £2 Coins Savings Club 2012 is £4 :).............................NCFC member No: 00005.........

    ......................................................................TCNC member No: 00008
    NPFM 21
  • roddydogsroddydogs Forumite
    6.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    So 10 years contributions gets you the full £87?
    Does this apply to Men as well?
    What about all the women who kept paying the stamp whilst not working? that was money down the Drain?
  • tanithtanith Forumite
    8.1K posts
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    Rikki wrote: »
    Mum never started working till we had all grown up and never worked the full ten years before she had to claim incapacity benefit.

    Does being on Incapacity Benefit pay towards your national insurance contributions?


    Rikki whilst on Incapcity Benefit your National Insurance Contributions are paid for you...
    #6 of the SKI-ers Club :j

    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke
  • EdInvestorEdInvestor
    15.7K posts
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    It works like this under the current rules:

    You need a minimum of 10 years NICs (which can be paid thru full time work, or voluntary payments or via benefits) to get any state pension at all.If you're a woman you need 39 years to get the full BSP of 87 pounds a week.

    You are also entitled to claim "Home Responsbility Protection" if you were a SAHM receiving child benefit for kids up to the age of 16.This came in in 1978, so if your kids were born after that and you stayed at home for 16 years, then these years count towards the target.

    It's possible to pay up 6 years voluntary NICs in arrears - but at present this number has gone up to 10, due to a computer malfunction at the pensions dept in the 90s.

    Hence, if you already have 10 years, you can get an additional 16 from HRP and 10 from backdated contributions giving an effective total of 36 out of the required 39, so almost the full BSP.

    Note that if you have paid the "small stamp" for any year, you are not eligible for HRP for that year and cannot convert it to a full stamp.And if you have already paid conts in arrears it won;t apply either.The idea won't usually apply to men unless their name is on the child benefit certificate and they have no other conts for the relevant years.
    Trying to keep it simple...;)
  • RikkiRikki Forumite
    21.6K posts
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    EdInvestor quick question.

    Mum staid at home with us children for a total of 20 years. Worked for 7 and is now on incapacity benifit and has been for 4 years and is unlikely to come off of this benefit.

    Using your calculations this adds up to 31 years contributions. Add to this the years before she reaches 60 and the voluntry payments she can make, this would bring her up to her 39 week requirement.

    Is she entitled to the full state pension for a women?

    Is this the same amount as the 10 years contribution at £87 a week or more?
    £2 Coins Savings Club 2012 is £4 :).............................NCFC member No: 00005.........

    ......................................................................TCNC member No: 00008
    NPFM 21
  • Thankyou for clearing that up, Edinvestor. So it's a combination of paying contributions through working or voluntarily and HRP (same as mine really but in different proprtions), but you have to have paid/been credited for 10 years to be entitled to anything at all. Is that it?

    Why haven't these women already been credited with HRP?:confused:

    (edited to add) sorry, misunderstood....their HRP HAS been credited. They can now pay up to 10 years worth of voluntary contributions to bring their entitlement up. Think I understand now!
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • Rikki wrote: »
    Mum never started working till we had all grown up and never worked the full ten years before she had to claim incapacity benefit.

    Does being on Incapacity Benefit pay towards your national insurance contributions?

    Yes, it does, because you are credited with the contributions - the same as if you were on Jobseeker's Allowance.

    Mum may also be entitled to HRP for the years in child-care.

    This all applies assuming that she married after April 1978 or, if she married before that, did not change to the former 'married women's reduced contribution' option.

    Margaret
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
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