Pension Advice for Women Divorcing Later in Life

Women who get divorced later in life may be missing out on substantial state pensions. 

Between 1998 to 2018 more than 100,000 women aged 60 and over got divorced. Many of these women reached state pension age before 6th April 2016 and therefore come under the ‘old’ state pension system, which makes a significant provision for divorced women.

Under the old state pension system, a divorced woman can substitute her former husband’s National Insurance record for her own up to the date of their divorce for the purposes of working out her basic state pension. This therefore often results in a significant uplift.

If a woman divorces after state pension age, they benefit from a pension uplift ONLY if they notify the Department of Work and Pensions of their divorce. Many women are not aware of this or are deterred from doing this and therefore miss out on the uplift, there is no automatic process for an uplift.

For women who divorced (and did not remarry) before state pension age, any ‘substitution’ based on her former husband’s National Insurance record should have taken place when she claimed her state pension.

Women who divorced over pension age and women who reached pension age before 6th April 2016 are now being urged to make sure that they notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as a matter of urgency in order to get their state pension reviewed.

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For anyone considering divorce, contact our expert Family Law Solicitors today for confidential and comprehensive advice on 0161 941 4000 or e-mail