Background to the report

In early 2020, the number of women contacting the Department to confirm the accuracy of their State Pension increased following media coverage of women being underpaid significant amounts. The Department confirmed that there was a significant issue in August 2020 and now believes it has underpaid an estimated 134,000 pensioners over £1 billion, or an average of £8,900 each. In January 2021, it started a Legal Entitlements and Administrative Practices (LEAP) process to review all cases at possible risk of being underpaid.

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Although these estimates have been subject to the NAO’s audit, a great deal of uncertainty remains and the true number of pensioners affected and the value of underpayments will only become clear once the Department has completed its review of all possibly affected cases.

Scope of the report

This investigation sets out:

  • who is affected and how much has been underpaid (Part One);
  • how the errors happened (Part Two);
  • how the Department assessed the scale of the problems (Part Three); and
  • what the Department is doing to put things right (Part Four).”

“The impact of the underpayment of State Pension on those pensioners affected is significant. It is vital that the Department for Work & Pensions corrects past underpayments and implements changes to prevent similar problems in future.”

Gareth Davies, the head of the NAO


Publication details

Press release

View press release (22 Sep 2021)

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