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Woman told she doesn’t qualify for state pension even though she’s 66

todayJune 21, 2022 1

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If retirement is calling, now is the time to check that you are entitled to a state pension. One woman got to age 66 and was told she wasn’t entitled to claim.

Rather than being advised that she was now eligible to make her claim, the mother of five received a letter stating she was not entitled to the benefit. State Pension age is regularly reviewed but it wasn’t the lady’s age that meant she couldn’t claim.

The story, which was reported by the Express, stated the woman was not entitled to any state pension as she’d missed out on NI credits whilst raising five children. Britons need to have at least 10 qualifying years on their National Insurance record to receive any state pension, and 35 to claim the full amount.

READ MORE: DWP Winter Fuel Payment update could see millions qualify for £300 top-up

Seeking advice on the Reddit forum r/UKpersonalfinance, one user shared his mother’s plight. The post read: “My mum has recently reached state pension age. However, she received a letter saying she isn’t entitled to one.

“What seems to have happened is, she raised five children but the child benefit for all of us was in my dad’s name. So she didn’t get the NI credit for raising five children.

“My dad has been employed and self-employed his whole life, and been paying all his NI contributions – from employment and self employment. His NI record shows him paying all relevant NI, and he has the NI stamps from post office to prove it.”

The child benefit the social media user mentions allows stay-at-home parents to claim National Insurance credits whilst raising their children. If they are registered for child benefit for a child under 12, even if they do not receive monetary compensation from the benefit, will go towards the NI record needed to claim state pension. The user tried to have the NI credits transferred from their dad to their mum, but unfortunately were only able to get nine years’ worth transferred.

The post continued: “I have been told I can write a letter in case I don’t agree with this decision. Is there anything I can write in there to change their minds? My parents are immigrants, so would have had no idea the consequences of my dad having the child benefit in his name. And the benefits office doesn’t tell anyone either. Back then there was no internet so they wouldn’t have been able to easily research this kind of thing.”

In the comments section, he added that if his mum were to get all of the NI credits she was due for her five children, she would have 21 years’ worth of NI credits. This would qualify her not to the full amount of state pension, but at least some of it.

If this happens to you, what should you do?

Independent financial advisor, Rebecca Robertson, told Express.co.uk that “so many people” are in similar situations where they reach retirement age and find they have no funding to support themselves. She said: “So many people haven’t made extra provision for retirement and are reliant on state pension that barely covers their bills.”

Ms Robertson advised those wanting to avoid this sort of situation should: “Obtain state pension forecast to see exactly what’s happened each year, don’t assume they’ve got the records correct.” Additionally she highlighted voluntary National Insurance, which allows Britons to essentially purchase a qualifying year to make up for gaps in their record. Although Ms Robertson noted: “I appreciate ‘finding the money’ is easier said than done.”

Ms Robertson also recommended that people “investigate Pension Credit” which is one of the most under-claimed state benefits. Pension Credit is specifically targeted to those living retirement on a low income and allows them to top up their state pension.

Written by: thehitnetwork

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