A divorced woman is required to verify that her state pension is correct after one woman who previously assumed she was not eligible for the pension received a repayment of £ 60,000 or more.
Yvonne Hooper, 77, says she feels “winning the lottery” after working with pension consultant LCP to get her money back.
She states: “I never thought I could get a pension with my ex-husband’s donation.
“Insist on all women who don’t have a pension to see if you have a pension. I feel like I’ve won the lottery.
“I’m really grateful to all the people who helped me achieve this.”
The issues that affected Mrs. Hooper are affecting women who are enrolled in the “old” state-owned pension system, which was born before April 6, 1953.
In older state pension schemes, “basic” state pensions (currently worth up to £ 137.60 per week) are usually based on the individual’s own NI contribution record. But for divorced women, the rules are different.
A person who divorces when he reaches the pension age can ask DWP to “replace” the NI record of his ex-husband until the date of divorce.
Therefore, those who divorced in their later years may be particularly beneficial because they can replace their ex-husband’s records for a long period of time.
If they make a claim and check “divorce” on the state pension claim form, this should, in principle, be done automatically.
But this depends on what they claim in the first place. Women who have never claimed at pension age can now claim and trace their pension back to the state’s pension age.
If you are married at the time of retirement but divorced after retirement, you can also ask your ex-husband’s NI record to “substitute” on your behalf.
However, DWP has not been notified of the divorce, so the pension increase does not go back in time. That is, such women should notify DWP as soon as possible.
One of the people who has benefited from these rules is Mrs. Hooper.
A Londoner, now living in Spain, became a widow as a young woman and divorced twice by the time she reached pension age at the age of 60 in 2004, but then remarried.
She didn’t claim because she thought she wasn’t eligible for a state pension.
After contacting LCP partner Steve Webb, who is campaigning for an unpaid state pension, she filed a claim and is currently awarded a full basic state pension and a repayment of over £ 60,000.
Mrs. Hooper details some of her story. “In 2004 I was officially retired and was told I couldn’t get my pension because I didn’t pay enough stamps.
“Fortunately, during this time I met my fourth year husband, Gary. He was 25 years younger than me, so I didn’t get married, but in the end I gave in and 21 years. I lived together and got married happily for 17 years.
“Unfortunately, a serious car accident occurred in 2017, damaging the skull and lower spine. I haven’t been able to work since then.
“A few months ago I saw an article about thousands of women who lost their pensions. I didn’t go anywhere on the DWP website, but in the end I was with the right people who really helped me. I got in touch and was supported all the time.
“After 17 years of no pension, I now have a wage of over £ 60,000 and now I will receive a regular pension.”
LCP partner Webb believes that there are “thousands or more” divorced women in the position of Mrs. Hooper.
He concludes: “Women who divorced when they reached the pension age, or who divorced after retirement, claim a pension and urge DWP to confirm that they have notified the divorce.
“It is important to claim a pension if they are not claiming a pension and notify the DWP if they are divorced at retirement.
“I’m glad that Mrs. Hooper was hit by this heavy rain.”
LCP has created a website where divorced women can see the details of the rules. It is located at www.lcp.uk.com / divorce.