The old State Pension system included rules that allowed for married woman to claim a State Pension based on their husbands National Insurance record.
Although these rules have ended for those who reached State Pension age from 5th April 2016, many current pensioners have benefits under the old system.
The rules allow a married woman to claim a basic State Pension of around 60% of her husband’s basic State Pension once both reached State Pension age.
This means up to £80.45 per week in the 2020/21 tax year, if a husband has a full basic State Pension entitlement.
These rules can also affect divorced women and widows.
A divorced woman having reached State Pension age, can use her ex-husbands National Insurance record instead of her own for the period prior to their divorce, if this produces a higher benefit than her own National Insurance record.
If the divorce occurred after reaching State Pension age, it is possible to use the ex-husbands entire National Insurance record.
Additionally, on death, a widower should have their basic State Pension reassessed using their husbands record. The widow is also able to inherit at least 50% of the husbands additional State Pension (SERPS, State Second Pension).
The Department of Work and Pensions have said they will be checking through their records to ensure women are receiving their correct entitlement. Steve Webb, (former Pensions Minister), has started a petition calling for a much broader search of records to find all eligible women.
In the meantime, if you think that you or a family member might be entitled to additional State Pension benefit, you should contact the Pension Service, or speak to one of our financial advisers at Lovewell Blake, for more information.