December 2017
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Is the Government in breach of contract over our NI contributions? Do any lawyers read this blog who can help?

Hopefully you’ll be enjoying the sun and/or the tennis today, so I’ll keep this short.

A few days ago, I wrote about how anyone who pays NI and has a partner who doesn’t work (or else who works but doesn’t earn enough to pay NI) will be losing £100,000 following the Government’s decision to scrap paying 60% of the state pension to partners of people who have paid full NI for 35 years http://www.snouts-in-the-trough.com/archives/5736

If anyone out there is a lawyer (or knows a lawyer), on behalf of myself and millions of others, I have a question – Is the Government in breach of implied contract by taking away the pensions of the partners of people who have paid full NI?

Apparently, there’s something in law called an “implied contract”. An implied contract is an agreement created by actions of the parties involved, but it is not written or spoken. This is a contract assumed to have been drawn. In this case, there is no written record nor any actual verbal agreement.

My question for any lawyers is in 2 parts:

1. If people have paid NI for 35 years while the rules were that their partner would receive 60% of the state pension based on their NI contributions, could it be argued that these people had an “implied contract” with the Government and therefore the Government would be in breach of this implied contract by completely scrapping the 60% state pension for their partners?

I suspect that for part 1 of the question, the Government would argue that NI contributions are a compulsory tax and that the Government is under no obligation at all to provide anything in return for those contributions.

However, there is an aspect of this issue which may put the Government in breach of implied contract:

2. If people have made Class 3 voluntary NI payments in order to secure a full state pension for themselves and a 60% pension for their partners, could it be argued that these people had an “implied contract” with the Government and therefore the Government would be in breach of this implied contract by completely scrapping the 60% state pension for their partners?

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