The error means hundreds of thousands of people have missed out on the full amount they are entitled to - mostly women. The issue relates to the ol
The error means hundreds of thousands of people have missed out on the full amount they are entitled to – mostly women. The issue relates to the older, basic state pension scheme where women were able to claim a state pension based on the National Insurance record of a husband, ex-husband or deceased husband.
While the majority of cases involved the system working correctly and fairly, a subsequent investigation found issues in the way some women were receiving payments.
Now, a new report has examined the matter further, and the progress which has been made.
The analysis from the National Audit Office (NAO) on the DWP’s accounts said approximately 237,000 state pensioners have been underpaid a total of £1.46billion.
The spending watchdog said this was an increase of £429million and 105,000 pensioners on the last best estimate taken by the Department at the end of the 2020/21 tax year.
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The correction exercise may take as long as “late 2024”, according to the NAO.
However, the watchdog has stated: “A delay of this length would increase the total amount underpaid to pensioners by an estimated £14million.”
As a result, the NAO has stated the DWP will need to step up the rate at which it reviews cases.
The correction exercise first began in January 2021 in efforts to identify individuals who have been underpaid.
Former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb has been at the forefront of pushing for the matter to be resolved.
The former minister has previously described the matter of underpayments as “shocking”.
He took to Twitter to explain what individuals may have to do next.
Sir Steve wrote: “In principle they are checking cases – and now a lot more cases, so if they find a problem, they should be in touch.
“Main exception is if you need to claim something – for example, you got divorced post-retirement or husband retired but pre-2008, when you need to contact them.”
A DWP spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk: “Resolving the historical state pension underpayments that have been made by successive governments is a priority for the Department and we are committed to doing so as quickly as possible.
“We have set up a dedicated team and devoted significant resources to processing outstanding cases, and have introduced new quality control processes and improved training to help ensure this does not happen again. Those affected will be contacted by us to ensure they receive all that they are owed.”
Express.co.uk has contacted the Department for comment regarding the NAO’s latest findings.