Govt urged to address underpaid women's state pensions after LCP launches petition

Pressure for the government to tackle the issue of under-paid women’s state pensions has continued to grow after the tabling of a new petition on parliament's website.

Lane Clark and Peacock (LCP) partner, Steve Webb, tabled the petition, calling on the government to use its records to identify all the women who are being underpaid.

Currently, the government has agreed to check records for one group of women, married women whose husband's reached pension age after 17th March 2008, and whose pension should have been automatically increased when he retired.

However, Webb emphasised that there is a "larger group" of women who could be missing out on the payments.

This includes widows who were underpaid as married women and are now on the correct rate, widows who are still not getting the correct rate, and older women whose husband reached pension age before 17th March 2008 and still do not know they need to claim an uplift.

Webb noted that even the specific group of women identified by the government is looking to get repayments totalling “tens of millions of pounds”, warning that the inclusion of these wider groups could likely lead to the government having to pay back more than £100m in underpaid state pensions.

He added: “It is welcome that the government is using its records to identify a particular group of married women who it admits have been underpaid.

“But there is a larger group of women who are currently being underpaid or have been underpaid in the past, including some widows and those aged over 80.

“It would be quite wrong of the government to expect people to come forward one by one and claim what is rightfully theirs.

"This petition is designed to put pressure on the government to use its own records to find all those who have been missing out”.

Webb previously warned that "tens of thousands" of married older women could be entitled to a higher rate of state pension than they are receiving, due to issues around claiming state pension uplifts.

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