Bereaved families should scour their records and chase the DWP for parents’ lost state pension money Here’s how to do it and get the cash back

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Missing Pension Amount: Find out what to inform DWP if your parents have died

Many women have died without knowing that huge sums were owed in state pensions after shocking errors by the government for decades.


This is money with their adult children inquiring about the lost pension amount of their late parents.

Some of these families may not get even a penny – but for many it is still worth going through the records and sending their details to the Department of Work and Pensions.

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The National Audit Office disclosed in its official report on the state pension debacle that records of deceased people are destroyed either after four years or after the death of the surviving spouse.

The DWP clearly does not know how many pensioners have died while inadvertently being under-payment of state pension due to their incapacity.

According to the NAO, until last month, it had no formal plans to trace relatives in these cases, including whether it maintains information about kin.

Unsurprisingly, Parliament’s spending watchdog has recommended the DWP come up with a plan soon.

It suggests a process that allows beneficiaries or executors of estates to ask whether deceased women were underpaid, to help deal with cases where the DWP cannot locate relatives. .

In the meantime, the DWP recently gave us guidance about what information can be given to bereaved families who suspect their relatives were underpaid – see below.

Why are some women being paid less than the state pension?

Married women who retired on small state pension before April 2016 should be increased to 60 percent of their husband’s pay after reaching retirement age.

Since March 17, 2008, the increase is considered automatic, but before that women had to apply to receive the full amount due.

It confirmed it could investigate without a national insurance number, contradicting its own call center staff who refused to help without one of our readers.

Former pension minister Steve Webb, who busted the state’s pension scam with This Is Money, says his advice to executors and beneficiaries is to write a letter to the DWP containing as many details as possible.

This is because they will have written proof that they contacted the DWP when needed, and because talking on the phone is often difficult.

But Webb is concerned that many families of women whose records have been destroyed will miss out on backpayments.

He cautioned that women in this group cannot be identified unless families have old DWP paperwork or bank statements – the latter states may list NI numbers next to pension payments, so are worth exploring. – And come forward to claim.

NAO says that from April 2021, DWP has started keeping records of pensioners who died.

However, the news about the destroyed records is another disappointing development for those who want the DWP to do its duty for the elderly women.

This Money has reported cases in which women face a list of errors and are repeatedly ignored or deceived by their employees.

We have also covered cases of widows who have lost over £100,000 over two decades, and have already explored two tragic situations where women died unintentionally, costing them thousands of pounds. was due.

DWP has already disappointed so many people. It should now work together and find a way to help the families whose relatives were deprived of the state pension which they should have got during their life.

What Information Should You Give to the DWP If Your Parents Have Died?

Several bereaved adult children have written to This Is Money asking how to check whether their late parents are denied a state pension.

Anyone who wishes to do so should contact DWP – it has details Here. If you prefer to write, you can input your postcode Here to find an address.

If you think your parents’ records have been destroyed, it’s appropriate to give the DWP more details — and especially copies of old pensions and bank statements — that you can show they were underpaid.

We recently asked the DWP what information he needed, and he said: ‘Ideally, we would need a national insurance number from someone who believed their deceased parent was under a state pension.

‘However, if it is not available, their full name, date of birth and address can be used to trace the claim record.’

After This Is Money told a reader that DWP employees told them they could not check a deceased person’s pension without an NI number, the DWP said this was not the case and that it was necessary to investigate any specific instances. was ready for where it happened. .

If you call, or include it in a letter, try to give as much of the following information as possible.

name of dead person

date of birth and death

ni number

Most recent basic state pension – this can be found on the annual statement, but not if the total weekly or monthly amount is given

last known address

Spouse’s Name

Date of Birth (and date of death if applicable)

ni number

Current Basic State Pension, or Last Known Before Death


Your own address and phone number

It’s a good idea to keep a record of the dates you called and what was said, or copies of your letters. You may consider sending them by registered post.

Since NI numbers will be useful, if not required, you can also check old state pension details of your parents and their bank details on which these usually appear.

What Information Should You Give to the DWP If Your Parents Have Died?

What Information Should You Give to the DWP If Your Parents Have Died?

If you are the executor of an estate, you can approach the bank to which the state pension was paid for seeking information and old details. Older benefits documents and health records may also include NI numbers.

Steve Webb’s firm LCP has launched a online tool To help older married women find out if they are getting the right amount, and if you have enough information about your late mother, you can…


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