Married, divorced and widowed women may have missed out due to an error by the Department for Work and Pensions
It has been reported that as many as 130,000 women may have received less than they should have due to an error following a change to the pension system in 2008.
Prior to 2008 some women who reached state pension age before April 2016 could claim more than the basic state pension depending on their husband’s (or ex-husband’s) national insurance contributions. However, the scheme swapped from a claiming system to an automatic one in 2008 and some women were not given the automatic uplift.
It is also thought that there are a large number of women who may have been entitled to a claim to have their pension increased but who did not put a claim in prior to March 2008.
Whilst this specific issue is not something which this firm deals with it does underline the importance of pensions and the potential for loss of income over time to build up to a quite significant sum. Very often on divorce there can still be a tendency for people to overlook pensions when considering the financial settlement.
There is a report, for example, that a 96 year old widow received more than £117,000 after it emerged she was not paid enough by DWP in terms of state pension for 20 years. For a lot of people this story might be enough of an incentive to check their entitlement but equally people are missing out on far more than this potentially every day when doing deals on divorce which do not properly factor in pension provision.
It is important if you are considering a separation or divorce that you take specialist independent family law advice before entering into a settlement to ensure that important issues such pension sharing are not missed.
If you have any questions relating to pensions on divorce or any other family law issue you can contact us by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp on 07725 1115219. Alternatively, if you are able to call us we are more than happy to discuss matters with you over the telephone on 01625 544650.