More than £1bn in state pensions underpaid due to 'repeated human errors'

Most of those affected are likely to be women and the true value of the underpayments will only become clear once the DWP has completed its review of all cases.

More than £1bn in state pensions underpaid due to 'repeated human errors'

Image: The DWP estimates it underpaid 134,000 pensioners (file pic)

More than £1bn-worth of state pensions have been underpaid due to repeated human errors which were almost inevitable amid complex rules and outdated IT systems, a spending watchdog has said.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimates it underpaid 134,000 pensioners and those it can trace will be paid an average of £8,900, the National Audit Office (NAO) said.

Most of those affected are likely to be women and the true value of the underpayments will only become clear once the DWP has completed its review of all cases, the watchdog added.

An estimated £339m will go to pensioners who should have benefited from their spouse’s or civil partner’s national insurance (NI) record; £568m to widows and widowers who should have inherited more state pension entitlement from their deceased partner; and £146m to pensioners who should have had an increase in their pension at their 80th birthday.

Meg Hillier, chair of the Committee of Public Accounts said: “Many pensioners – most of whom are likely to be women – have been short-changed by thousands of pounds which they are still yet to receive many years later.

“Although it is positive that DWP is now working to put this right, this is not the first widespread error we have seen in DWP in recent years. Correcting these errors comes at great cost to the taxpayer.

“DWP must provide urgent redress to those affected and take real action to prevent similar errors in future.”

The errors affect pensioners who first claimed state pension before April 2016, do not have a full NI record, and should have received certain increases in their basic state pension.

Errors happened because state pension rules are complex, IT systems are outdated and unautomated, and the administration of claims requires a high degree of manual review and understanding by case workers, the NAO said.

“This makes some level of error in the processing of state pension claims almost inevitable,” it added.

In January 2021, the DWP started reviewing cases at risk of underpayment – an exercise originally expected to take over six years to complete.

Following a decision to recruit additional staff, the Department revised the completion date to the end of 2023.

The Department does not know how many pensioners who have died have been underpaid as, for data protection reasons, it does not usually keep records for more than four years after a pensioner’s death, and if married, their spouse’s death, according to the report.

As at August 2021, the Department had not approved a formal plan to trace the estates of deceased pensioners.

Gareth Davies, the head of the NAO, said: “The impact of the underpayment of state pension on those pensioners affected is significant.

“It is vital that the Department for Work and Pensions corrects past underpayments and implements changes to prevent similar problems in future.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “We are fully committed to ensuring the historical errors that have been made by successive governments are corrected, and as this report acknowledges, we’re dedicating significant resource to doing so.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Tala raises $145 million in funding round led by Upstart

Representative image Fintech company Tala on Friday said it has raised USD 145 million in Series-E funding round, led by Upstart with participation from the Stellar Development Foundation. New investors Kindred Ventures and The J. Safra Group, along with ... Read more »

Aluminium plants grappling with critically low level of coal stock: AAI

Representative image Aluminium plants in the country are grappling with critically low level of coal stocks and if the fuel supply is not restored immediately it would lead to irrevocable ... Read more »

Congress questions govt silence on veracity of 'Galwan video', says PM Modi must ensure China is held accountable

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Illustration: Moneycontrol) Paying tributes to 20 bravehearts who lost their lives in Galwan valley, the Congress on Tuesday asked when will status quo ante be restored ... Read more »

The growing pains of Gorillas, the flash delivery guy who got out of the ground in record time

A ladle on an aluminum grater, a set of pan lids, whistles, bicycle bells, a broomstick used to hammer on a traffic sign. On Wednesday afternoon, about two hundred protesters ... Read more »

India is strategic partner and very close friend': Israeli official says ahead of EAM's visit

India has emerged as Dubai’s second biggest trading partner after China with the overall volume touching 38.5 billion dirham in the first half of 2021, according to official data released. ... Read more »

What is PM Gati Shakti Yojana?

When the GoI had announced a massive budget of Rs 100 trillion to develop infrastructure, a few people had wondered how money could solve red-tapism. PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan, launched ... Read more »

Drugs case: Aryan Khan speaks to parents via video call from jail; gets Rs 4,500 via money-order

File image of Aryan Khan (Image: Instagram/___aryan___) Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, who is lodged in Arthur Road prison in central Mumbai in a case of ... Read more »

'Upstart caterer' Sir Gerry Robinson was one of the outstanding bosses of his age

From humble beginnings in Donegal, Sir Gerry rose to enjoy a colourful career at the helm of Granada where he managed to stir up the wrath of showbusiness before taking centre stage in his own takeover dramas. Read more »

Govt removes export curbs on all diagnostic kits, reagents

With COVID-19 cases coming down in the country, the government on Friday removed export curbs on all diagnostic kits and reagents including instruments, which are used in detection of coronavirus ... Read more »

Former Boeing pilot charged over 737 Max issue which contributed to fatal crashes

Mark Forkner, 49, faces up to 100 years in prison if he is convicted of two counts of fraud and four counts of wire fraud. Read more »

Forex reserves rise by $2.039 billion to $639.516 billion

Representative image The country’s foreign exchange reserves rose by USD 2.039 billion to USD 639.516 billion in the week ended October 8, according to RBI data. In the previous week ... Read more »

Will provide financial support to 7 new defence companies if required: Rajnath Singh

Seven new defence public sector undertakings, carved out of the erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), were on Friday dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of ... Read more »

Indian crypto space is huge, but how transparent is it?

Though cryptocurrency has vast potential for growth, investor safety remains a concern (Image: Reuters) India seems to be miles ahead of the world when it comes to upping its ante ... Read more »

Titan, Kalyan Jewellers' shares reflect the optimism of Q2 updates

Titan Co. Ltd and Kalyan Jewellers India Ltd’s stocks have put up a good show on the bourses in the past one month, rising by around 25 percent and 18 ... Read more »

British Gas owner says energy bosses should face 'fit and proper' test as consumers face £2bn crisis bill

Chris O'Shea, chief executive of Centrica, tells Sky's Ian King Live that rules need to be put in place to ensure the crisis, which has seen the collapse of a series of its smaller rivals, never happens again. Read more »

Amit Shah attacks Savarkar's critics, says they should have some shame

Amit Shah ”Veer” Savarkar’s patriotism and valour cannot be questioned, Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserted on Friday, as he hit back at those doubting the freedom fighter’s commitment to India and its freedom struggle, and ... Read more »

Ian King Business Podcast: Energy crisis, bereavement leave, and Ikea investment

Listen to “Energy crisis, bereavement leave and Ikea investment”. There are calls for more energy companies to be regulated like banks, to prevent another crash. :: Listen and subscribe to ... Read more »

Reliance Brands partners with Manish Malhotra, to acquire 40% stake in his luxury brand

President & CEO of RBL Darshan Mehta and fashion designer Manish Malhotra. Indian retail giant, Reliance Brands Limited (RBL) on October 15 announced it will acquire a 40 percent stake ... Read more »

Hilco-owned Homebase faces scrutiny over COVID support after profits surge

Homebase is not thought to have repaid the nearly £40m of taxpayer support it received despite seeing one measure of profits soar 15-fold last year, Sky News can reveal. Read more »

No rush in officially recognising Taliban's rule: Vladimir Putin

Mullah Baradar Akhund, a senior official of the Taliban, seated with a group of men, makes a video statement, in this still image taken from a video recorded in an ... Read more »

India notifies 8,424 tonnes of raw sugar exports to US under TRQ

The government on Friday permitted export of 8,424 tonnes of raw or white sugar under tariff-rate quota (TRQ) to the US, which enables shipments to enjoy relatively low tariff. TRQ ... Read more »

How to get your vehicle scrapped — a step-by-step guide

The Delhi Transport Department recently issued new rules regarding the usage of vehicles that are 15 years old. According to the new guidelines, once a petrol or CNG car crosses ... Read more »

‘I was really lucky with this house'

in ‘As a district nurse I arrange the intakes and indications, and of course I also provide care at the bedside. I’ve always wanted to go into health care, but ... Read more »

Dollar falls below 71 rubles first time since July 20, 2020

At the same time, the euro fell to 82.32 rubles Read more »

Rock legend Alice Cooper took up tap dancing during COVID-19 pandemic

Shock rock legend Alice Cooper picked up an unusual hobby during the coronavirus pandemic. Redferns LONDON — During the coronavirus pandemic, shock rocker Alice Cooper replaced touring with tap dancing. ... Read more »

Bitcoin surpasses $60,000 first time since April 18

As of 17:16, Bitcoin accelerated its growth and was trading at $60,125 (+4.38%) Read more »

Russia, ASEAN readying new formats of economic cooperation, says Business Council head

"We consider it crucial to facilitate the establishment of contacts and the expansion of cooperation not only between business circles, but also through public organizations, leading figures in the area of science, education, culture, art, support of moral values," Ivan Polyakov emphasized Read more »

Shipments in Novorossiysk suspended due to storm — Transneft

It was also reported that the weather is expected to worsen during the weekend and a typhoon is possible Read more »

Norway, Russia agreed fishing quotas for Barents Sea in 2022

According to the Norway’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, this is the most important and the large-scale bilateral agreement in the fisheries sphere for the country Read more »

Cities, companies warn about the Dutch foreign investment climate

The European Medicines Agency has brought hundreds of new jobs to the Netherlands. Photo: Odi Busman A total of 120 companies, mayors and other organisations have signed a manifesto drawn ... Read more »

Singapore shares advance to end week in the black

The benchmark Straits Times Index was lifted by 9.05 points, or 0.29 per cent, to close at 3,173.91. SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Positive sentiment across global markets gave investors ... Read more »

Russia, Venezuela developing secured messenger — Rostec

The parties are also considering implementation of information solutions for power system management with Corpoelec electrical company and digitalization of production processes for Conviasa airline Read more »

Russia's non-resource non-energy exports may set a record with $180 bln in 2021

According to Head of the Russian Export Center Veronika Nikishina, Russia's non-resource non-energy exports will surpass $141 bln - the figure for the entire 2020 already this month Read more »

China Evergrande crisis caused by ‘poor management', but an exception in healthy property market, central bank says

China’s central bank for the first time on Friday lambasted property giant Evergrande Group for its “poor management”, while saying the potential spillover effects to the financial system from a ... Read more »

LinkedIn's China retreat stems from regulatory and competitive pressures as local recruitment platforms prosper

The retreat from China of LinkedIn, the professional social network owned by Microsoft, is the result of Beijing’s tighter regulation of the domestic internet sector as well as tougher market ... Read more »

Russia, Germany discuss new transit contract with Ukraine — Deputy PM

The agreement on the supply and transit of gas, which Russia and Ukraine signed in 2019, expires in 2024 Read more »

Evergrande fallout is ‘controllable,' China's central bank says

Authorities in Beijing and local governments in provinces around the country are resolving the situation based on “rule-of-law principles.” AFP via Getty Images China’s central bank on Friday said the ... Read more »

Russian Arctic zone may grow into new energy generation center — senator

The Arctic regions may develop into centers to produce and export hydrogen energy and new types of fuel, Konstantin Dolgov said Read more »

Debt-stricken China Evergrande suffers huge blow as US$1.7 billion deal to sell its Hong Kong headquarters collapses

China Evergrande has failed to sell its single largest asset to state-backed Yuexiu Property, Reuters reported, a huge blow to the debt-stricken developer’s frantic efforts to raise the funds it ... Read more »

Analysts list Arctic cities liable for state support

According to the expert, absolute leaders in terms of functions are Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, Nadym, Naryan-Mar, Norilsk, Noyabrsk, Novy Urengoi and Tarko-Sale Read more »