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State pension payments to increase for married women – full details on rates explained

 

STATE PENSION payments are a vital source of income for millions of people across the country. And there are rises incoming for a particular group of women.

PUBLISHED: 14:19, Tue, Dec 8, 2020 |

State Pension payments usually undergo an increase each year, which is beneficial for those who are in receipt of the sum. At present, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has split the state pension system into two tiers, dependent on a person’s age. The basic state pension, or the ‘old’ scheme, is available for men born before April 6, 1951 and women born before April 6, 1953.

Those born later will need to claim the new state pension, with each scheme offering different levels of payments dependent on contributions.

The government has now released written confirmation that state pension rates will increase in the 2021/22 year.

Pensions increase each year by whichever is the highest of: average earnings, prices, or 2.5 percent.

This is a system known as the Triple Lock Mechanism, which has garnered controversy in recent months for financial expense.

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state pension married women UK

State Pension UK: Payments to increase for married women – full details on rates explained (Image: Getty)

However, for women in receipt of the Married Woman’s Pension, it is worth making note of the increase which will occur next tax year.

Steve Webb, partner at Lane Clark Peacock, and former minister for pensions, confirmed an increase while writing on social media today.

He explained the Married Woman’s Pension is linked to the full basic state pension, which has been outlined by the government.

As such, the sum will increase in line with the plan to up-rate the basic state pension sum.

Mr Webb confirmed the amount would rise from £80.45 to £82.45 per week.

This means women who are in receipt of this form of pension can expect to receive approximately £330 per month worth of financial support from the DWP. 

The state pension rate will rise by 2.5 percent from April 2021, the government confirmed two weeks ago.

Dr Therese Coffey, Work and Pensions Secretary, confirmed the government would be maintaining the Triple Lock mechanism.

State Pension UK

State Pension UK: What is State Pension? (Image: EXPRESS)

This was despite some thinktanks and organisations calling for the policy to be scrapped, or rethought, to save the government money in the current crisis.

At the time, Dr Coffey commented: “The Social Security Act 2020 enables me to increase the basic and new state pensions and the Standard Minimum Guarantee in Pension Credit by providing a discretion to increase them for one year, even though there has been no growth in earnings.”

To receive the basic state pension sum, a person must have been paid or credited with National Insurance contributions.

The highest current amount a person can receive from the basic state pension is £134.25 per week.

This will, however, increase to £137.60 in the 2021/22 tax year, according to the government document.

For those who are married or in a civil partnership there may be ways to increase a basic state pension sum.

People who aren’t in receipt of the sum, or who are not receiving the full amount, could receive a ‘top-up’ to £80.45 per week.

This can be achieved through a spouse or civil partner’s National Insurance contributions.

Recently, LCP has encouraged women to check if they could be entitled to receive state pension back payments.

While most cases have been processed fairly, it has been identified that thousands may have potentially been underpaid.

Under the old state pension system, married women could claim a basic state pension at 60 percent of the full rate based on their husband’s contributions, where this would be bigger than the pension they could get based on their own contributions.

Since March 17, 2008, this uplift should have been applied automatically, but before this a married woman had to make a “second claim” to increase her state pension upon her husband turning 65.

Some ‘post March 2008 women’ had not had their pension increased, and some ‘pre-March 2008 women’ had not put in a claim for an increase – hence potentially missing out on important money to which they are entitled.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is now asking individuals to come forward if they think they have been underpaid.

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