The Pension Service contacts customers four months before they reach state pension age to invite them to claim state pension by telephone.
Over the phone they are asked to provide their marital status and, if appropriate, the national insurance number of their spouse. If the man is married and his wife is over state pension age and in receipt of a basic state pension based on her own contributions but which is less than the rate of pension based on her husband’s contributions, a claim form is issued to her.
If customers who wish to claim by post, they are asked to complete and return a tear-off slip from the invitation to request a claim pack. The tear-off asks men “Is your wife aged 60 or over?” If the customer ticks “yes”, a claim form is also sent out to their wife.