HMRC has started writing to some 210,000 state pensioners who may be owed back payments.
The letters are going out to those who may be missing Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP) on their National Insurance (NI) record, to invite them to apply to fill in the gaps, reports The Daily Record.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Nigel Huddleston, told MPs on February 8: “The main cause of the issue was that NI numbers were not always recorded when customers claimed Child Benefit before 2000.
“The UK Government have estimated that around 210,000 individuals may have been affected by missing periods of Home Responsibilities Protection.
“They aim to identify and contact the majority of individuals who may have been affected over the next 18 months so that those eligible receive any arrears payments as quickly as possible.”
The Government website has a tool you can use to check if you are owed back payments.
He added: “Where an application is successful, those with a state pension impact will have their award corrected and any arrears paid.”
A Government spokesperson said last year: “We have identified and are correcting an issue related to the historical recording of Home Responsibilities Protection on the National Insurance records for people who first claimed Child Benefit before May 2000.
“Most people’s records will be unaffected, and we have launched a new online tool to help people check whether they need to claim. HMRC will also begin writing to those likely to be affected this autumn.
“Our priority is ensuring everyone receives the financial support to which they are entitled, and state pension underpayment rates due to official error remain low at 0.5 percent of expenditure. Where errors do occur, we are committed to fixing them as quickly as possible.”
Who may be due back payments for state pension?
People who meet any of these six criteria are strongly encouraged to contact the Pension Service to see if they could be entitled to state pension back payments:
- Married women whose husband turned 65 before March 17, 2008, and who have never claimed an uplift to the 60 per cent rate
- Widows whose pension was not increased when their husband died
- Widows whose pension is now correct, but who think they may have been underpaid while their late husband was still alive, particularly if he reached the age of 65 after March 17, 2008
- Over-80s who are receiving a basic state pension of less than £80.45
- Widowers and heirs of married women, where the woman has now died but was underpaid state pension during her lifetime
- Divorced women, particularly those who divorced after retirement, to check that they are benefiting from the contributions of their ex-husband.
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