It’s been revealed that thousands of over-80s in the UK could be missing out on State Pension payments they’re entitled to. It’s due to the government failing to notify them that they are eligible for the ‘over 80 pension’ and how to claim it.
Here is the lowdown on this story.
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What is the ‘over 80 pension’ and who exactly is eligible?
Also called ‘Category D State Pension’, it’s a special pension paid to people who are 80 or over. It’s a non-contributory payment. That means that you do not need to have made any National Insurance contributions in the past to be eligible.
According to gov.uk, you can claim the over 80 pension if you:
- Are 80 or over.
- Do not get the basic State Pension or your basic State Pension payment is less than £82.45 a week.
- Were resident in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 10 of the last 20 years. The years don’t have to be consecutive. The 20-year period must include the day before you turned 80 or any day after.
- Were ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Gibraltar on your 80th birthday or the date you made the claim for this pension, if later.
The over-80s pension is currently worth £82.45 a week, which is more than £4,000 a year.
Why are over-80s missing out on state pension payments?
The government usually transfers pensioners onto the Category D payment automatically if they were already getting the State Pension before the age of 80.
Over-80s who were previously not receiving any State Pension have to claim it themselves.
However, a report by former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb has now revealed that the government has not been informing this group of their eligibility for the non-contributory pension.
It means that around 107,000 people aged 80 and over (65,000 women and 42,000 men) are wrongly not getting the over 80 pension. This amounts to more than £400 million of unclaimed pension payments every year.
In total, more than 250,000 thousand people over 70 are currently not collecting any State Pension. However, his group includes those who have chosen to defer their pensions and others who do not qualify because of inadequate National Insurance contributions.
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How can over-80s claim this State Pension entitlement?
Sir Webb has called on the government to automate the system. He told the Telegraph, “The DWP should immediately identify those on zero pensions and ensure they get their entitled payments.”
In the meantime, if you qualify, you can claim for this special element of the State Pension manually. You can do this by getting a claim form from your nearest pension centre or your local Jobcentre Plus branch.
The earliest you can claim is three months before your 80th birthday.
Can you get back what you missed out on?
Unfortunately, payments are not backdated.
If you are eligible but have not claimed your payments, you will not be able to access any money you may have missed out on.
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