Thousands of pensioners may be owed money after DWP pension failures

Mistakes by the DWP left many state pensioners underpaid, including women whose husbands died and older pensioners who paid married women’s stamps

An elderly woman seated in front of a kitchen looking intently at paperwork
Those affected are urged to check if they are entitled to an additional state pension

thousands of state pensioners may be owed back payments due to past government mistakes that are now coming to light, an expert says.

The most affected are retired couples where one partner has died, as well as married women who receive the new state Pension .

Many pensioners affected by these bugs should have received top-up payments but are being urged to check – particularly older married women as bugs are still ongoing.

A group of monies owed reached legal retirement age before 6 April 2016 and inherited a pension from their deceased partner who reached legal retirement age after that date.

Some of these inherited pensions grew less than they should have Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) error.

Former Pensions Secretary Steve Webb of finance firm Lane, Clark and Peacock (LCP) exposed the problems with freedom of information requests.

The errors were discovered by former Pensions Secretary Steve Webb


(Getty Images)

Webb said another group of people with lower state pensions than they should have been are women who paid the “married woman’s stamp.”

These stamps are reduced Social Security contributions offered as an option to all women who worked before 1977, and millions have paid them.

At the time, social norms meant many had to rely heavily on their husbands’ pensions rather than their own.

But changes to pension rules in April 2016 meant women now receive state pension payments based on their own Social Security records, not their husbands’.

This meant people who paid the married woman’s stamp faced lower state pensions but might have been eligible for top-up payments from the DWP to offset this.

The latest finding is that despite the problem, many women are still not getting the right salary 2019 come to light .

LCP Partner Steve Webb said: “While anyone can make a mistake, what’s worrying about this catalog of errors is how long it can take for someone to realize something is wrong.

“In one case, it took three years after the introduction of the new state pension for anyone to discover a systematic problem with payments to certain married women.

“It’s also surprising that information about these bugs and fixes hasn’t been released before. DWP needs to improve on two fronts – better error checking to ensure people aren’t being paid the wrong pension in the first place, and more transparency so that the public is informed when something has gone wrong.”

A DWP spokesman said: “This year we will be spending over £100billion on the State Pension and our priority is to ensure that every pensioner receives all the financial support to which they are entitled. These corrective exercises show how errors that occur are identified and corrected.”

Last month, The Mirror reported that the state pension was cancelled increase by more than seven percent next year after the Chancellor confirmed the triple lockdown would be reinstated.

Rishi Sunak said the April 2023 surge will match the rate of inflation in September this year, which the Bank of England forecast is expected to be around 7.4 percent.

Under the terms of the triple-lock formula, the state pension must increase by the highest of 2.5% average earnings growth and inflation, but this year it was suspended due to skewed earnings growth during the pandemic.

If things had continued like this, it would have given retirees battling a fast-rising cost-of-living crisis a rise of more than 8%. Instead, it will only increase by 3.1% on April 11th.

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Fry Electronics Team

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