HMRC are sending Pension underpayment letters: Check yours it could be worth thousands

If you are currently receiving the state pension and happen to receive a letter from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) don’t discard it without carefully reading it first. recently reported that it’s important to note that the HMRC home responsibilities letter is not a scam and could potentially have a significant impact on increasing your pension by thousands of pounds.

HMRC has initiated a campaign to reach out to hundreds of thousands of individuals primarily women who may not be receiving their full state pension entitlement due to errors in their national insurance records.

Who is the Pension underpayment letter for?

Specifically those who took time off from work between 1978 and 2010 to care for their families may be missing out on what is referred to as ‘home responsibilities protection’ (HRP).

The pension HRP letters are being sent in phases with priority given to those who have already reached the state pension age of 66.

You can watch a pension underpayment success story example on moneysavingexperts youtube channel here.

What should I do when I receive the letter?

With so many scams both online and offline it’s important to stay alert and to check that any correspondence from HMRC is legitimate before taking any action.

If you suspect that the letter you have received may be a scam, it is advisable not to take any action until you have confirmed its legitimacy.

To verify its authenticity, you can consult the list of recent letters sent by HMRC on GOV.UK.

Additionally if you still have doubts you can directly contact HMRC by dialling 0300 200 3500.

How to apply for home responsibilities protection

To confirm whether you qualified for HRP between 1978 and 2010 you can use the online checker   on GOV.UK.

Once the eligibility checker confirms your eligibility, you will have the option to submit your claim electronically.

To apply online you will require a government gateway user ID and password which if you don’t have one can be created during the application process.

Alternatively you can choose to make a claim by mail by completing the HMRC form CF411 online.

After you have completed the CF411 online you can download it so it can be printed and sent via post to HMRC.

When HMRC have received your application they will then proceed to update your national insurance record potentially resulting in increased state pension payments.

Do I need to give evidence to HMRC when I apply?

If you are a foster or kinship carer: it is essential to include an updated confirmation letter from the local authority or fostering agency when submitting your application.

For individuals who provide care for sick or disabled individuals: it is necessary to provide evidence of the allowance or benefits received by the person you cared for while you were providing care.

The evidence should clearly demonstrate that the allowance or benefit was received for a minimum of 48 weeks each year in which you are making a claim for Home Responsibilities Protection.

Think you might be due and not received a letter?

If you haven’t received a letter but believe you may qualify for the Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP), it’s important to be patient and wait for further updates.

Individuals who are currently receiving the state pension are the most directly affected by this situation. Any gaps in their records could potentially impact their pension payments at present.

As a result, HMRC is giving priority to this group with those nearing retirement being addressed first.

If you are still several years away from reaching the state pension age it’s currently suggested to refrain from applying for HRP at this time and wait for HMRC to reach out to you directly.

HMRC reminds everyone to make sure they update their address with them to make sure you receive the correspondence you should.

Why do some individuals receive a lower state pension than they should?

In July 2023 the government acknowledged that approximately 210,000 people, predominantly women, may have been underpaid a total of £1.3 billion due to gaps in their NI records.

The government has committed to identifying and reaching out to those affected throughout the current year.

Separately and in addition earlier this year the government also extended the deadline for eligible individuals to retrospectively fulfil any national insurance contributions (NIC) gaps for the period from April 2006 to April 2016.

In response to the transition to the new state pension scheme HMRC has granted permission to rectify any gaps in national insurance payments made between April 2006 and April 2016 with the current deadline given as the 5 April 2025.

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