New tax error leaves pensioners in the lurch


More errors from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs have emerged, this time with potentially serious repercussions for millions of pensioners.

It has come to light that millions of pensioners have unwittingly had their National Insurance contributions inexplicably “misplaced” by HMRC.

Figures released by the treasury suggest that around 9.3 million National Insurance payments between 2004 and 2009 were not correctly matched to the people who paid them. This could now seriously affect the amount of money some pensioners enter their retirement with. Pensioners deemed to have not paid the required amount of NI contributions will find that their basic state pension will be considerably smaller.

If people have been affected by the missing payments they will have to prove the years in which they worked, something that could be difficult due to lost records. Accountant Mike Warburton said: “These people could have a great big gaping hole in their state pension without even knowing about it. It could prove catastrophic for these individuals. It’s likely they will find out about it several years down the line when they may have no way of proving they worked in that year.”

A spokesman for HMRC said: HMRC receive end of year information from employers on National Insurance contributions that cannot be matched to the correct employee record. We make every effort to match these records, however, where that’s not possible, contributions are retained until such time as they can be matched."