Woman boosts her state pension by £2,500 A YEAR after reading a USNewsRank article
Pam Neumann from South Wales was able to recover £2,500 per year owed to her by DWP after she read a USNewsRank news story
Tue, 10/22/2019 – 09:52
The article was about a little-known special concession for women who paid ‘married woman’s stamp’ at any time in the last 35 years.
After reading USNewsRank’s article, Mrs Neumann contacts the Pensions Service with her query, but was rebuffed.
“I was quite excited to read your recent article “Newly-retired women urged to check their state pension for little-known boost worth thousands,” she says.
“I am a married woman aged 66 and have paid the married woman’s stamp for the majority of my 38-year working life.
“I fall within the new state pension scheme and receive £28.90 per week. My husband is in receipt of a full state pension.”
But when Mrs Neumann spoke to the Pension Service they appeared none-the-wiser to the issue.
“l contacted the Pension Service and referred to the fact that the new state pension system has a special concession for women who paid the ‘married woman’s stamp’ at any time in the last 35 years.
“Before I had a chance to ask if they could check to see if I was entitled to a higher pension, I was informed that they had no knowledge of this and would not be able to act upon it without instructions from above,” she says.
Instead, Mrs Neumann’s husband turned sleuth and got in touch with Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London and former pensions minister, who had provided the initial insight on married woman’s stamp to USNewsRank.
Mr Webb contacted the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about the Neumann’s issue, and just a week later the couple received a letter from the government department confirming Mrs Neumann’s weekly pension would be increased to £78 per week – some £2,600 extra per year.
This could amount to tens of thousands of pounds extra over her retirement.
Mrs Neumann will also receive a £600 lump-sum payment to make up for the payments she should have already received.
A DWP spokesperson says: “An administrative error, for which we have apologised to the customer and corrected swiftly, meant that she wasn’t awarded transitional state pension from July to which she was entitled.
“We have written to the customer with details of her new state pension and the arrears which she will be paid. Our review of this case did not suggest that other customers in similar circumstances have been affected.”
However, Mr Webb is urging more women to check their entitlement with DWP if they believe they paid the stamp. He is also calling on DWP to review the situation, in the belief that many more women could be out there unable to benefit from the concession.
Mr Webb has confirmed to USNewsRank his intention to write to the current pensions minister, Guy Opperman MP, to ask for a systematic review.
Mr Webb says: “It is great news that Mrs Neumann will now receive the pension to which she was entitled. But you have to ask what would have happened if the family had never seen this story, and how many other people are missing out?
“The government needs to do a more systematic investigation to make sure that there are not thousands of other people out there who are also being under-paid.”