HMRC sends letter to women who were underpaid for their state pension – how to receive it

Most of the women affected were housewives who claimed child benefits between 1978 and 2000. We will explain how to check your eligibility.

Thousands of women receive insufficient state pension benefits(Getty Images)

The government plans to write to hundreds of thousands of mothers who are missing out on their state pension due to a serious mistake.

Those affected have holes in their National Insurance records, affecting their entitlement to the state pension. Most of the women were housewives who claimed child benefit between 1978 and 2000.

If you made a claim without providing your National Insurance number, your National Insurance credit may not have been properly transferred. Your eligibility for the National Pension is determined by your National Insurance records.

National Insurance Credit helps you build up eligibility period if you are not paying your premiums, such as if you are unemployed, and was previously known as Home Liability Protection (HRP). HRP reduced the qualifying years required to claim the National Pension and was available to parents and carers from 1978 until 2010.

The total amount outstanding could reach £1.3 billion and 210,000 people could be affected, of whom 60,000 are now deceased. In such cases, their families have the right to check their eligibility and claim the arrears.

HMRC is currently writing to mothers who may be affected, who could each be liable to pay an average of £5,000. The letter-writing training will be carried out over the next 18 months, with priority given to people over pension age.

But former pensions minister Steve Webb warned that tens of thousands of people affected may not receive the letter. The government specifically acknowledges that it lacks information on those who were receiving child benefit before 2000. Of his 210,000 people affected, DWP expects to track 187,000 of his people.

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