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Anyone else had trouble with the UK State Pension Service


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Just thought I would have a rant about this! My 65th Birthday was early in April this year and last February I applied via Govt Gateway for my state pension. I understand that they normally contact you before your 65th birthday but in this case they did not. Having completed the on-line form I waited and waited but no contact at all. A few weeks ago I rang them but they denied all knowledge of my application and promised action, grovel grovel. No result! This is despite the completed form still being visible on their web site.I rang them again a week ago and again a promise of action, grovel grovel and can you send us your birth certificate which I promptly did. Rang them again today and again no record found of application and not much of a grovel but promise of action, huh! I pointed out the form was still on their web site and gave the claim reference number. The guy said he would have to speak to the lad that knew about these things and a promise that someone would ring me tomorrow! Well we have heard that one before!

Now I have received a new UK tax code saying that as I am receiving my state pension I will receive less of my main employment pension. I contact the Welsh office where my UK income tax is handled, ex teacher govt pension, and they say I need to fill in a form asking for tax relief on my state pension, despite my having filled in such a form in 2004 for other UK income I have to do it again as my state pension was not on the list! Now one of the questions on this form is on what date did you receive your UK state pension, uurrggh!

Contrast all this with my wife's situation for when she approached her 60th they contacted her and asked her if she would like her state pension. No forms to fill in re tax relief and in a very short space of time, bingo, one pension tax free from the UK! Now I may not be as pretty but is this equality I ask? On a serious note I suspect they may be looking to stop folk who are on the fiddle in a way too clever for me to understand, doh! The bottom line is that I will be paying more UK income tax for some time and no doubt will have even more bl**dy forms to fill in to be processed by the French tax office at the speed of a Deluvian Megga Donkey before being sent on to the UK so I get the tax back! I hate them all..............................JR




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My husband - Eddie - had his 65th last week and we sent off the form by registered post in Feb. Never had any acknowledgement of it so he rang them and they said it was going through OK. He didn't have to send any documents as there was a part on the form which said that.

We have an english friend in the village here whose 65th was in Feb, and he didn't receive his 1st payment until a month after his birthday. He received a letter from them just before that telling him how much and when he would get it.

So I guess, just be patient, and if nothing appears a month after the birth date, ring them gain.

He had a letter from the Revenue too. They have all his info. as he pays as self-employed.

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John, I hate them all too.

OH still having his annuities paid net of tax although we have been here 2 years and are due to fill in our 2nd French tax return.

I am due to collect my pension next month and, like you, I didn't get a form, so I have written to them specifically requesting that they do not ask me to do anything on line as I'd like good old fashioned paper, thank you.

Still waiting so I'm not holding my breath.

I guess you need to have a name like Frank Goodwin in order to collect a mega pension together with your tax-free lump sum and everything else.

I don't want to calculate how much all this late payment and non refund of my OH's taxes has cost us so far.  The longer they hang on to the money, the less it's worth to us, that's for sure, what with the exchange rate and the fall in interest rates for savers.

Best to have been totally irresponsible, not done anything about a pension and wait to collect state hand-outs.

Rant over but still seething..............


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Seems as though I am not alone then! There seems to be a communication problem between Fitzroy House and the offices in Wales, it is never clear who the h*ll one should talk to and when you do get through you never get to speak to anyone who has an overall picture of the situation. Oh well have to sit and fret I guess, blah!..........................JR

PS maybe Ernie Y is right. We arrived here in France in 2001 and it was the middle of 2004 before we got any tax back on other income taxed in the UK, speedy or what!

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OH is also having a run in with the same bunch of incompetents.  No replies, no acknowledgements, phone calls answered with lies.

I have now lodged an official complaint with them, but I doubt I shall see an answer.  They still have 2 weeks before I take it further.

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Because HMRC want me to apply again for tax relief, Dieu knows why when I did this in 2004 and it was accepted then, so until I do they will tax me on it and I will have to claim it back. They have used a notional figure of a standard state pension which may not be right and I cannot apply for relief until I get the wretched thing which at the rate things are not being done will be sometime next Michealmass or even later! I have not been told yet when I will get it or indeed how much, Blah!............................JR
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I think the message I get from my experiences so far is as follows:

1/ Don't assume they are going to contact you 3 to 4 months before your 65th or 60th birthday.

2/ Applying on-line seems to be problematic sometimes, things don't seem to get routed to the right place always.

3/ On-line or on paper, form can be downloaded, say you will send or will include copies of birth/marriage certificates and get photocopies to send certified by the Mairie even though they don't always want these. They only ask you if you are sending them not that you should.

4/ Save some money to cover the cost of all the phone calls you are going to make when things don't happen and have a large bottle of tranks handy! Have your N.I. number (NINO) to hand and your marriage date, father-in-law's name, budgie's name and any other security question information they might ask for before they will talk to you. Don't expect them to talk about income tax, too difficult, another office, helps to speak Welsh!

I received a call from pensions today, only a day later than promised so things are improving, not. They now have found my application, sent in February on-line, and on reception of birth certificate which may take two weeks to get to the right office having been delivered to Pensions, I was told, something should happen within 6 to 8 weeks, maybe..................JR

PS Going to have a lie down in a darkened room now! 


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Mrs Sunday hit the magic 60 last June.

I phoned the pension service a couple of months beforehand and they sent over the forms for her to fill out.  We sent them back, complete with original of her birth certificate (fingers crossed and since returned OK).

A couple of weeks before her birthday, I phoned them again just make sure about her E121.  Have you got everything sorted for her, I said.  Hang on a bit - shuffle shuffle of paperwork - yes, I've got her file here.  The bank transfer is all set up so she'll receive her first pension payment on the due date.  Oh, and we've done you two E121s, one in her name and a second one in her name but showing you as a dependant.  They're going off in the post tomorrow.

All very slick at the time, but I don't know about their current workload.....



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I just followed the simple instructions on the DWP [url=http://www.thepensionservice.gov.uk/state-pension/basic/how-do-i-claim.asp]website[/url]........

How do I claim?

You will usually be sent an invitation to claim your State Pension 4 months before you reach State Pension age. If you have not received your invitation 3 months before you reach State Pension age, get in touch with The Pension Service

You can claim State Pension over the phone. This is a quicker process and will help to ensure that you receive your first payment on time. The number to ring is 0800 731 7898 or alternative Welsh and textphone versions. Details can be taken over the phone, questions answered and you can be advised of other benefits / products e.g. Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit. We can also capture any communication needs you may have like large print. In the majority of cases details of your entitlement / award can be given at the end of the call.

Information to have at hand when making your claim over the phone

When you claim your State Pension we will need to know certain information from you. To quicken the process please have the following information at hand when making your claim:

  • Your national insurance number

  • Tax reference number – if available

  • Details about your spouse / civil partner:-

    • Their national insurance number

    • Your date of marriage or formation of civil partnership

  • Your employers name and address along with your payroll, staff number and where applicable the date you stopped working

  • Details of other benefits either you or your spouse / civil partner are receiving with the benefit reference number if known

  • Your social security number (if you have ever lived and worked abroad)

  • Dates of any periods of time when you were in hospital and the name and address of the hospital

  • Details of the bank you want your payments paid into e.g. sort code, account number or Building Society roll / reference number

Read or print a form

You can read or print a State Pension benefit claim form. You should post this completed form to your pension centre or local office.

This form does not apply in Northern Ireland. For information on pensions in Northern Ireland see the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland website.

You can call the State Pension claimline. The number to ring is 0800 731 7898 or alternative Welsh and textphone versions. Opening hours 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday.


I did exactly what they told me to do and it seemed to work OK......[;-)]




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Eddie received the letter of confirmation today - 17 pages including all the E121 stuff. So quite efficient really.

I remember now why he decided not to apply on line - because if they wanted documents this would delay things, so you might as well do it all on paper.

We followed the same routine as Sunday Driver.

The number we were given to phone is 0044 191 21 87777

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What you describe SD is what happened last year when SWMBO reached big 60, no problems and a slick operation so judging from my experience and what others have said something must have gorn wrong there since. I have not even dared raise the subject of an E121 yet and yes I have no doubt that tax will be paid back in time but only after more hassle. Just don't like being left in limbo!.............JR
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Do you lot want a laugh , I have just phoned 0044 845 300 1084 , a recorded message " Due to improvements in our system you now only need to claim 2 months before your birthday ".

After what people have been saying , time will tell [:D]

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