Speaking on Saturday’s Money Box pensions minister Mike O’Brien said: “We are going to review the National Insurance records of vast numbers of women approaching or over pensionable age who are not entitled to the full state pension.”
The Home Responsibilities Protection system reduces the number of qualifying years, from 39 to a minimum of 20, required to receive a full state pension for women who have taken time off work to bring up children. But it has been failing to automatically adjust qualifying pension years and as a result women pensioners have lost out on almost £1bn.
HRP should be given automatically to a woman who has received child benefit at any time after April 1978 but Grant Thornton says this is not the case and, as thousands of women are unaware they qualify for HRP, they are not receiving full pensions.
Senior partner Mike Warburton says: “It’s admirable that Mike O’Brien has come forward, admitted the mistakes made by his predecessors and shown intent to fix the problem. With any luck the issue will be identified promptly and the problem rectified so thousands of women can get what they are owed as soon as possible.”