Published On: Fri, Nov 3rd, 2023

Martin Lewis warns pensioners ‘do not bin it’ as HMRC sends out letters worth thousands | Personal Finance | Finance

Martin Lewis warns pensioners ‘do not bin it’ as HMRC sends out letters worth thousands | Personal Finance | Finance
Martin Lewis warns pensioners ‘do not bin it’ as HMRC sends out letters worth thousands | Personal Finance | Finance


Martin Lewis has issued an urgent warning for those aged 65 and over not to bin a crucial letter that may be coming in the post.

During The Martin Lewis Money Show last night, he urged Britons to spread the word to any female pensioners: “Do not bin it”.

His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has started writing to 100,000s of people – mostly women – who may be missing out on their full state pension entitlement due to an error in their national insurance records.

Specifically, this affects those who took time off work to care for family between 1978 and 2010, as they may be missing what’s known as ‘home responsibilities protection’ (HRP).

Letters are being sent out in phases, with those over state pension age (66) being contacted first.

The money-saving expert said: “Do not bin them. They are not scams – this is crucial. The letter will be titled ‘You may be eligible for Home Responsibilities Protection’.

“It’s mainly for women and it can be worth thousands of pounds. In some cases tens of thousands of pounds. I’ve had a success story today from this for £30,000. That’s why I’m saying don’t bin it.”

Those under 66 will be able to do this later or they can start looking into it niw – but they will get your letters later. They are starting with those people who are already at state pension age.

Explaining why people are getting these letter, Mr Lewis stated: “Those who were caring for their family between 1978 to 2010 and were not working should’ve been getting national insurance credits that can boost your state pension but weren’t.

“This is putting that right which is why it could be worth thousands of pounds. So, watch out for that letter or do a bit more reading.”

If people are worried that a letter they’ve received might be a scam, it’s best not to act on it until they’ve confirmed it’s authentic.

People can check a list of recent letters sent by HMRC at Gov.uk.

They can also contact HMRC directly by calling 0300 200 3500 if they’re still unsure.

It should be noted that HMRC will never threaten arrest or push people to transfer money over the phone.

Mr Lewis reiterated: “If it is directing you anywhere other than guv.uk it’s a scam. Don’t bin this letter. It’s a really important letter.”

While the full state pension is currently £203.85 a week, how much someone receives depends on the number of ‘qualifying’ national insurance (NI) years they have.

They can collect these by working and paying NI, or if they’re claiming benefits or caring for others. (This system was previously called ‘home responsibilities protection’ until it was replaced by national insurance credits in 2010.)

In July, the Government admitted that about 210,000 people – mainly women – could have been underpaid up to £1.3 billion due to gaps in their NI records and said it would start identifying and contacting those affected this year.

The average amount owed due to state pension underpayments is around £5,000, according to the DWP.

Episodes of The Martin Lewis Money Show are available on ITV Player.


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