DWP errors continue to deny thousands of women full state pension

DWP continuing to make errors on state pension assessments, says former pensions minister Steve Webb.

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According to LCP partner and former pensions minister Steve Webb, errors are still being made on new state pension awards notwithstanding the massive corrective effort that is now being performed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on prior state pension awards.

Now, Steve Webb has sent a letter to the minister of pensions, Guy Opperman, providing examples of inaccuracies that have occurred recently and requesting more action to enhance accuracy.

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Women who once qualified for a lower rate of National Insurance Contributions paid under the guise of the “married woman’s stamp,” which is one of the most important areas in which a mistake occurred.

It is possible that such women may discover that, according to the terms of the new state pension, they do not have the ten years of payments at the full rate that are required to qualify for any state pension.

However, the new system offers these kinds of women a unique benefit, so long as they paid the lower stamp rate for at least 35 years before they became eligible for retirement.

If they are married, these women are eligible for a pension of £85 per week; if they are widowed or divorced, their income increases to £141.85 per week.

An earlier Freedom of Information request made by Steve Webb revealed that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) found in 2019 that it was making errors on such cases, and at that time, a corrective exercise was put into place.

However, the former Minister has continued to hear from women who have been told incorrectly that they have no pension claim. One of these ladies is a retiree who took their pension in April of 2022.

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As a result, he has written to the DWP with the specifics of four situations like this and is requesting that action be made to prevent anything like this from happening again.

Steve Webb said: “When DWP admitted to me that they had been making errors for this group of women I assumed that they would have put in place procedures to sort out the problem.

“Yet I continue to hear from women who have been wrongly told that they are not entitled to a pension.

“What concerns me most is how many other women there may be who simply trusted what DWP have told them and are now struggling to get by without the pension which is rightfully theirs.

“DWP should be checking all their records for such cases and putting things right, as well as making sure that these mistakes cannot happen again”.

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