"All retirees need to make sure what their entitlements are, and if you make enquiries with the tax office no news isn’t necessarily bad news."
A pensioner who thought he wasn’t entitled to a state pension has been awarded a backdated sum of £132,800 after a chance conversation with an equity release company.
Peter Williams, aged 76, had filled out his pension forms when he retired but, after not hearing back from the government, he assumed he was not eligible.
He had missed out on his state pension for 11 years and instead relied on two workplace pensions, worth £234 and £275 a month.
Needing more income after spending his life savings and inheritance, he approached Responsible Life about equity release for his property — but in the course of routine enquiries, his adviser discovered Peter had been wrongly missing out on a state pension.
Graeme Donegani, an adviser at the firm, phoned the state pension claim line with Peter to discuss the situation.
It was only then that Peter discovered he was entitled to £274 a week, starting immediately, along with a £132,800 payment for the unclaimed years.
Graeme Donegani said: “Peter has no family at all and no-one to help with financial matters. He has willed his house to charity.
“Needless to say, there is no basis to proceed further with equity release but it does mean that his charities will benefit from the value of his house in full.”
Steve Wilkie, managing director of Responsible Life, added: “It’s no exaggeration to say this money will change Peter’s life. It just goes to show all retirees need to make sure what their entitlements are, and if you make enquiries with the tax office no news isn’t necessarily bad news.
“This unexpected windfall also means he doesn’t need to release equity from his house and we couldn’t be happier for him.”