MPs demand full restitution for all pensioners hit by “shambles” of underpayments to over 134,000 people

A truly damning report by MPs on the Commons Public Accounts Committee today castigates the Department for Work and Pensions for running an “unfit for purpose” system to pay pensions to more than 12 million people.

The scandal of 134,000 pensioners being underpaid by around £1 billion dates back over 37 years and a number have already died before they could receive the money. The MPs say: “The errors happened because of the Department’s use of outdated systems and heavily manual processing, coupled with complacency in monitoring errors and a quality assurance framework that is not fit for purpose.”

The report says: “Managing Public Money requires Departments who make mistakes to put them right and restore people as far as possible to the situation they would have been in had the error not occurred. However, the Department is seeking only to pay people their legal entitlement in arrears, in some cases many years after the event, and has treated people inconsistently in paying interest on their arrears.”

The APPG report sent to Rob Behrens, the Parliamentary Ombudsman

Meanwhile another report from the All Party Parliamentary Group On State Pension Equality for Women submitted to Rob Behrens, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, on behalf of 3.8 million women who have faced delays of up to six years before receiving their pension falls short of asking for full restitution for the women.

Instead it is asking the Parliamentary Ombudsman to recommend that the women should receive a minimum of £10,000 each because of heartrending stories of poverty and hardship.

“Women have had their emotional, physical, and mental circumstances totally obliterated by a lack of reasonable notice. These impacts must be addressed, if we are to reach any kind of conclusion regarding this injustice”, it says.

The proposal is far better than the unspecified figure by the same committee prior to the 2019 election but falls substantially short for people who have lost £40,000 to £50,000 by the DWP refusing to entertain any payment at all.

The Public Accounts Committee report on the pensions underpayments is unflinching in its criticism of the DWP. It points out that 40,000 of those owed money are now dead adding:”94,000 pensioners are estimated to be alive, which represents approximately 0.9% of those currently claiming the pre-2016 basic State Pension.

These official errors affect pensioners who first claimed State Pension before April 2016 and who do not have a full National Insurance record or who should have inherited additional entitlement from their deceased partner.

90 per cent of the people hit by underpayments are women

Around 90% of the pensioners underpaid are women because of the types of State Pension claim affected. The Department does not expect to trace over 15,000 of the affected pensioners or their next of kin where the pensioner is deceased. On average, the Department estimates that the approximately 118,000 pensioners it can trace could receive payments averaging around £8,900 by the time the payments are made. So far, the Department has found underpayments of between £0.01 and £128,448.37.”

The report goes on:” The Department has not given people who are worried they have been underpaid enough information to find out what they should do, with the risk that many may still miss out on money they should receive.

” The Department’s communications strategy is to only contact those who it finds have been underpaid under the State Pension regulations. Other groups of pensioners can receive arrears if they make
a claim for additional entitlements to the Department, but the Department has provided very little information on which pensioners should do so.”

The report also points out that by repaying the money as a lump sum people means it could affect other benefits – such as entitlement to pension credit and social care payments. The DWP ignores doing anything about this.

Dame Meg Hillier, chair of the PAC, said: “In reality DWP can never make up what people have actually lost, over decades, and in many cases it’s not even trying.

Both the latest reports are damning for the Department and show up the disdain the ministry has for elderly people. The Public Accounts Committee report is the most damning as it suggests that the ministry is breaking Treasury guidelines on managing public money correctly by not taking comprehensive action to restore the rights of people – nearly all women – to get cash they are entitled to receive.

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18 thoughts on “MPs demand full restitution for all pensioners hit by “shambles” of underpayments to over 134,000 people

  1. TIf any monies are given, they will just use it as an excuse to reduce any benefits as the women will have more than £6000 savings. Taking money from pensioners is their first port of call, particularly if they are women! Then they delay in the hope we’ll die firstWhat happened to the £271 billion NI pot they misappropriated?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My 82 years old husband was one of the unfortunate 15,000 who got ‘the threatening letter’. At first we thought it was a scam and ignored it then I thought I had better look it up. Turned out that the letter saying that the DWP would be calling at a given time and he should make himself available or else was kosher. Turned out they knew more about him than he knew himself. He was quizzed for over an hour and one question he couldn’t answer was where he worked for one particular year. He had been retired for over 25 years having had to stop work because of a back injury. He said he would think about the year in question and have a word with our boys who worked with him throughout the years. He was told the DWP would call again on Thursday which they duly did. But he still could not figure out that particular year. What we couldn’t understand is why, when they knew what he did all of his working life (almost better than he did) did they not know about that particular year. Also they had a question about our marriage certificate after he told then the date of our wedding which was 21/01/1961. They said their records said May so they must see a copy of the original wedding certificate as well as his original copy of the dates he was entitled to disability allowance (again they knew those dates so why?). These have since been returned to us. The interviewer, when my husband asked what this was all about, said that they were trying to ascertain that he had not paid too much tax but, instead, it felt like the opposite. That they were hoping to claw something back. We have still not heard anything further but it lies uncomfortably at the back of our minds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • this is why i insist on only dealing with them in writing…..but that will probably just inspire them to become extremely physically and sometimes sexually violent….

      Like

  3. Dear David
    I’ve just opened a whole new can of DWP worms…..
    DWP and Futures/HMRC calculations 2021 nearly £140 a week for me based on Category A pension substituted.
    Just formally received my State Pension notification for payments starting 8/4/22 at my age 66 SPA and it stated I am due less than £70 a week
    I have a rack of my own evidence compiled so that I knew my records were correct.
    Is DWP committing wholesale fraud or just utterly incompetent?
    Let me know if you want to follow it up – especially following BBC 1pm news today…….
    Kind regards
    Pauline Hinder
    On Fri, 21 Jan 2022, 11:56 Westminster Confidential, wrote:
    > davidhencke posted: ” A truly damning report by MPs on the Commons Public > Accounts Committee today castigates the Department for Work and Pensions > for running an “unfit for purpose” system to pay pensions to more than 12 > million people. The scandal of 134,000 pension” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • If the DWP had been a private insurance company, it would long ago have ceased trading, why ask people questions which can be accessed by databases. In my case I was informed that I had an account at a Bank which I had not disclosed to them. The account had £2.30 in it, I never disclosed it to them as even back then £2.30 would hardly buy you 2 cups of coffee so why bother disclosing it. As Kelticgirl points out they seem to know more about you than you do yourself, so to save time and effort why don’t they print the information they have on you, send it to you with a copy and you sign the copy and return it as a true record. Or does this breach the Data Protection Act, which could be renamed the Data Collection Act. As for the DWP maybe the best idea is to ban ideological idiots from getting their hands upon the levers of power and bring in Information and Records Managers to completely overhaul the outdated system. I blame the politicians for the mess, the top civil servants and ministers probably hold garden parties to discuss policy.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: MPs demand full restitution for all pensioners hit by “shambles” of underpayments to over 134,000 people | sdbast

  5. OMG is there no one can sort out this shower of imbeciles that are the DWP. At least Dick Turpin wore mask. This lot are blatantly robbing people of their rightful pensions and getting away with it.
    Thank you David for your constant stance in trying to get us our rightful pensions, I get mine in October this year, I hope 🤞 but it’s been a long six years wait.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is always what I would say if I felt something was a rip off I too waited 5 years for my pension I now live on 171 pound a week and my husband died 2 years ago our house is bought and I have a bit of savings so qualify for nothing my savings go down weekly the 30 thousand I feel owed would be a great help do I need to sell the house and all our memories my daughter died in this house at 19 from a heart condition and our house is being left to my son im just disgusted with these people nobody care anymore

      Like

  6. I am sick and tired of this ( and previous) governments BLATANTLY stealing money from us, including the daylight robbery of the triple lock system and the 6 year wait for our pension money that we were NOT informed about.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s not just pensioners that are being ripped off…i’m mid 40s now, perps within the DWP stole my identity and have been paying themselves my ‘benefits’, possibly for over a decade and a half now….if they are still stealing, at least my national insurance contributions are still being paid….but i have no way of finding out?

    Like

  8. As a young woman starting employment at 15yrs I was told by my manager that if I paid the big stamp I would be contributing to a pension in my own right rather than being dependent on a future husbands pension,as far as I’m concerned this contract has been broken by government and I should be compensated appropriately £40000 lost

    Like

  9. But in other news they’re perfectly happy to write off, what is it now? £5.5 BILLION in furlough fraud….? This isn’t even pennies in comparison…. These sickos would much rather spend trillions employing people to try to find ways to screw people out of their pensions….

    Like

  10. I think the gung-ho attitude of DWP Management to its basic duties of correct payments to Benefits and Pensions entitlements is not just wrong in calculations per se but it is Fraud. A gross defrauding of mainly womens’ entitlements in this instance.
    Nobody mentions discrimination – which is what it is – and that is illegal as well.
    DWP has sidestepped almost all compensation and/or interest payments on their errors.
    They have routinely kept women affected impoverished and underpaid as a very deliberate modus operandi.
    DWP Management is giving ‘the bird’ to women of the UK.

    Like

  11. The DWP Management Is giving ‘the bird’ to UK women;
    Their employees’ ‘mistakes’ teeter on the very edges of routine corporate fraud.
    The DWP doesn’t offer compensation/interest.
    Their corporate target is mainly women in these State Pension cases and their behaviour is therefore illegal discrimination.
    They are not fit for purpose.
    I’m on the verge of receiving my State Pension at age 66 shortly and DWP official estimate of my State 01/2021 was nearly £140/week State Pension. My official notification received last weekend is for >£69/week. What’s going on…….?
    They’ve incompetently overlooked my entitlement to a Category A Pension Substituted and are set to underpay me £70/week from April. Mistake?
    Fraud more like.

    Like

  12. #EDM906 is a gift to ALL #50sWomen from a caring MP .@IanByrneMP who is endeavouring to bring everyone together for the best outcome for ALL concerned.

    🚨 We heard yesterday that Andrew Gwynne MP, Co-Chair, APPG sees no conflict between #EDM906 and the APPG’s Submission to the PHSO. That he is happy for any MP in the APPG who wants to sign, and can sign it, to do so to show their support. Thus a formal request has been submitted to the APPG for backto60com to enjoy the extensive privileges extended to other groups, by the APPG, over many years, to backto60.com. 🚨

    👉 Everyone, always ⚖

    In 2016, the Work & Pensions Select Committee Chair, Rt Hon Frank Field MP, identified #50sWomen as being “grotesquely disadvantaged” by the swift, sudden, stealth deferrals of the state pension and called for urgent remediation.

    Latterly, on the steps of the Supreme Court #50sWomen were Refused a Hearing, however, the Ruling called for Parliament to remedy the matter.

    The contention between the government and Judiciary regards Judicial Reviews being the backdrop to the Supreme Court’s Refusal.

    Had backto60com been granted the Hearing, it would have undoubtedly succeeded in its mission on behalf of 3.8m #50sWomen.

    We hosted a My Space event yesterday to illuminate Early Day Motion 906 which was tabled, inspiringly, by Ian Byrnes MP at backto60com’s request.

    The Motion calls for Full Restitution for ALL #50sWomen via the ratified UN Convention #CEDAW and an Erskine May proof #TemporarySpecialMeasure which does not change Primary Legislation.

    The UK’s International Law Obligations out of CEDAW require the UK Government to comply with CEDAW’s Articles and General Recommendations ie where historical Discrimination is found, Full Restitution is applicable – as in the case of #50sWomen.

    Concurrently, backto60com is calling for a ‘Women’s Bill of Rights’ out of the UN Convention CEDAW which embraces the above strategic focus.

    Trade Unions are supporting this history making initiative. Never again must any woman or girl be denied her Human Rights which are Women’s Rights.

    As David Hencke has pointed out on his blog, the Motion does not impinge on the PHSO’s Maladministration Investigation, in any way.

    In fact, it is indirectly beneficial to the outcome of the PHSO’s Investigation.

    👉 Here’s how it is beneficial.

    The APPG has just called for “Level 6′ or more” compensation for the #Maladministration suffered by #50sWomen following the PHSO’s Report unfairly calling for less and for fewer victims.

    Constrastingly, the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Dame Meg Hillier, has called for “Departments that make errors (eg DWP) through #maladministration have a duty to put those it wronged back in the position they should have been, without the error.

    Thus the APPG for #50sWomen is empowered by Dame Meg Hillier’s ‘Shameful Shambles’ Report to call for wronged #50sWomen to be put back in the position they should have been, without the error.

    The PHSO’s modus operandi plus Dame Meg Hillier’s above call for Full Restitution where #Maladministration by a government department is found (eg DWP and #50sWomen) amplifies the APPG’s ability to call on the goverment to accommodate both the PHSO’s eventual recommendation and, indeed, call to ADD to the compensation, namely, Full Restitution.

    Thus, there is no reason, whatsoever, for all #50sWomen not to get behind #EDM906 whilst the PHSO’s Investigation continues.

    BackTo60com has called for the £58bn placed on the table in 2019 ahead of the General Election to now be placed in Labour’s upcoming Manifesto and Grey Book.

    Indeed for Parliament to finally meet the ‘Debt of Honour’ owed to #50sWomen ‘who always do the right thing’.

    #EDM906 is a gift to ALL #50sWomen from a caring MP who is endeavouring to bring everyone together for the best outcome for ALL concerned.

    Everyone, always.

    https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/59407

    Like

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