DWP failed retired bookkeeper to receive married woman’s pension | Personal Finance | Finance

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A retired bookkeeper has won her case against the government over its pensions failure.

Daphne Bennett, began claiming her state pension in 2003 but gaps in her contributions meant she received just £38.66 a week.

When husband Tim retired in 2008, she was eligible for a 60 percent married woman’s pension.

Payments were dependent on a new state pension claim form being filled out.

But Mr Bennett was told on the phone that no forms needed to be signed and no documents were ever sent to the couple, both 80, from Woking in Surrey.

In 2020, Mrs Bennett saw coverage about married women’s pensions and realised she could be on a higher rate. She applied and was successful, securing an increase of around £24 per week, but it was only backdated to 2019. 

The DWP rejected a complaint about its failures to inform her that a claim should have been made. But the Independent Case Examiner overruled the decision and ordered back payments dating to 2008, plus interest and compensation for “distress and inconvenience”.

Mrs Bennett said: “When I first found out that I could have been on a higher pension for over a decade I was surprised and puzzled. Then when I claimed and was told it could only be backdated for one year, I felt it was unfair.  It was their mistake, not mine. 

“It has taken years to work our way through the complaints procedure, with the support of Steve Webb, but I’m absolutely delighted that my complaint has been upheld. 

“My husband reads paperwork carefully and I would obviously have made a second claim for the higher state pension if anyone had actually told us that was how the system worked. 

“I hope that those in positions of authority will look at what happened to me and accept that there are many other women in the same position and will put things right for all of them.”

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