State pension payments to come through early next week for certain claimants – check now
Alastair Stewart sends warning about future of pensions
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State pension income is paid once a month in arrears and following an initial claim, claimants will be informed by the DWP when an initial payment will come through. People in Scotland will see their payments temporarily altered next week as the next bank holiday arrives.
Where payment dates fall on a bank holiday, claimants will usually see their payments arrive on the first working day beforehand. In Scotland, the next bank holiday falls on November 30.
This means claimants who have their payment date fall on November 30 will see their payment come through on November 29, less than a week away.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the next bank holiday falls on December 27, meaning payments should come through on December 24.
State pensions themselves are paid in arrears, meaning they cover the previous four weeks and not the coming for weeks. The payment day of the week will depend on the claimant’s National Insurance number.
The last two digits of a National Insurance number determine when payments come through, as the following details:
- 00 to 19 – Monday
- 20 to 39 – Tuesday
- 40 to 59 – Wednesday
- 60 to 79 – Thursday
- 80 to 99 – Friday
State pension payments
For the new state pension, at least 10 years of qualifying National Insurance contributions will be needed to receive anything in retirement. To receive the full amount of £179.60 per week, at least 35 years will be needed. Some may get a different amount due to contracting out.
The DWP has been forced to address state pension payment problems in recent weeks as it emerged the Government had underpaid tens of thousands of women over the years who had not received uplifts they were entitled to. Data from the Office for Budget Responsibility noted the Government could face a £3billion bill over the systematic underpayment”, with a recent report from the National Audit Office estimating the DWP has underpaid over £1billion in state pensions to around 134,000 pensioners.
Since this issue was identified, the DWP has made efforts to correct the issue and millions have ben paid back to pensioners. Peter Schofield, the DWP permanent secretary, addressed the problem at a Public Accounts Committee evidence session in late October.
He said: “I do want to apologise on behalf of DWP to all of those affected by this official error that has obviously been going on for many many years.
“We want to assure you that we are absolutely doing what we can to take those [lessons] on board and make changes and improve things.
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“The message for those who will have missed out is I am absolutely sorry and we are doing everything we can now to get the money paid to those who are entitled to it, and we are resourcing this.
“We are absolutely determined to pay this money to those who are entitled by the end of 2023.”
However, Helen Morrissey, a senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, expressed doubt on these commitments and noted the issue is much more complicated than many may realise.
She said: “Today DWP officials said lessons had been learned from the state pension underpayment issue and highlighted its determination to make sure all those affected are paid by the end of 2023. However, the assertion that state pension underpayments due to official error is only 0.3 percent – much lower than for other benefits – will come as no comfort to the estimated 134,000 pensioners who have been underpaid.
“The situation was caused by a mixture of antiquated systems and human error and DWP have questions to answer on whether lessons have indeed been learned quickly enough given the time it has taken to address a problem that has rumbled on for many years.
“The one positive is that the system for the new state pension is more modern with increased automation and we should not see such a situation repeated in future though this system is also under immense pressure right now as staffing issues mean many people are facing delays in receiving their first state pension payment.”
Ms Morrissey examined what concerned claimants can do, urging people who think they have been underpaid to contact the DWP.
She added: “Women on less than £82 per week who are or were married to men who have a full national insurance record and started receiving their state pension before March 2008 should get in touch.”
It is also possible to get a state pension forecast through the Government’s website. This service can help people find out how much state pension they could get, when it can be claimed and how it can be increased.
This service can only be used by those who have yet to claim their state pension or have deferred claiming it.
The quickest way to get a forecast is by going online but they can also be received by filling in a BR19 application form and posting it to the Government or calling the Future Pension Centre.
State pension age
State pensions can only be claimed when a person reaches their state pension age. For the new state pension, this will be 66, but further rises to this age lie ahead.
State pensions can be claimed up to four months before a person reaches their state pension age.
While most people will reach their state pension age at 66, the DWP will be increasing this qualifying age over the coming years. The state pension age will rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028 and it will reach 68 by 2046.
It is also possible to get an exact date for when one will reach their state pension age on the Government’s website.
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