According to the Office of National Statistics more than 100,000 women over the age of 60 divorced between 1998 and 2018.
These women could be missing out on significant sums of money in state pension rights.
The majority of the women involved would have reached state pension age before 6 April 2016 and so came under the ‘old’ state pension system which made significant provision for divorced women.
If they divorced after pension-age they can benefit from a pension uplift, providing they notify Department of Works and Pensions that they have divorced.
Under the old state pension system, a married woman was able to use her husband’s full National Insurance record instead of her own, up to the date of their divorce when working out her basic state pension entitlement. This could result in a significant uplift, perhaps running into thousands of pounds over the period of retirement.
Richard Johnson, divorce lawyer at Atherton Godfrey, commented: “Assessing pension rights is a crucial part of the divorce process and something we always address fully with our clients, regardless of age. Unfortunately, many women have missed out on this very important piece of advice.”
Do you qualify for enhanced payments?
If you were 60 or over on 6 April 2016, had not remarried and did not substitute your husbands NI record, you should contact the DWP without delay and ask for a pensions review.
If you are considering divorce, make sure you get professional legal advice before you commit yourself to anything.
Read about our legal services when divorcing here.
You can call and speak to our team on 01302 320621, in total confidence and without obligation.