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Underpayments of the state pension: Still questions to answer for Government over repayment progress

22 April 2021

The Work and Pensions Committee has published correspondence from Minister for Pensions Guy Opperman MP on the DWP’s approach to repaying historic underpayments of the state pension.

The letter is in response to several questions asked by the Committee last month, including on the scale of underpayments, the amount of arrears repaid so far and how cases are being investigated.

The Minister was also questioned on state pension underpayments when he appeared before the Committee in January.

Chair's comments

Commenting on the letter, Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

“The scale of this problem is staggering—it’s likely to affect tens of thousands of women and to cost some £3 billion pounds to fix. The Government has a duty to be transparent with Parliament and the public about the progress it is making on an exercise of this magnitude. The Minister says that there will be more information at the next fiscal event—but that isn’t likely to happen for another six months or more.

“Having created this problem, DWP ought to be offering a gold standard service to pensioners and their families. Instead, the Department refuses to engage with reports of people having difficulty getting through on the phone line or receiving incorrect advice when they do. Too many cases have needed the intervention of journalists, professional advisers or high-profile figures to be resolved. It’s simply not good enough.

“We will continue to press for better and quicker answers from the Department.”

Further information

Image: Parliamentary Copyright