OVER 10,000 women in the UK in their sixties could be entitled to thousands of pounds on their state pension because of the ‘married women’s stamp’.
But what does this mean? And how do you go about claiming the money you could be owed? Here’s all you need to know.
What is the married women’s stamp?
Up until 1977, wives who worked were able to pay a reduced rate of National Insurance if they claimed on their husband’s record.
But changes in April 2016 mean that women now get state pension payments based on their own National Insurance record – not their husband’s.
The lower rate was 5.85 percent of weekly earnings between £166.01 and £962 and the women who opted in before it was abolished have been allowed to continue paying for it as long as they kept working.
But this dramatically reduced the state pension they were qualified to receive independently of their husbands – as well as removing their reight to receive maternity and unemployed benefit.
On the bright side, they were entitled 60 percent of their other half’s state pension allowance when he hit retirement age.
What should I do if I think I’m owed?
Up to 10,000 women can still claim £77.45 a week if you are married, and £129.20 if you are widowed or divorced says Steve Webb, a former Pensions Minister.
How much could I get?
The concession could be worth between £4,027 and £6,718 a year depending on your circumstances.
The government estimates that around 10,000 women could potentially benefit from this.
Mr Webb said: “It is amazing that in designing a state pension system in the 21st century, the government had to include special rules to protect women affected by a rule designed in the 1940s.
“It is not widely known that women who paid the reduced stamp at any point in the 35 years before they retired, and who come under the new state pension system, can claim a minimum payment under the new system.
“If any woman is getting a substantially reduced amount from the new state pension, she should check if she paid the reduced stamp and contact the Pension Service if she is in any doubt.”
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