DWP errors leave 200,000 pensioners ‘out of pocked’ and owed £5,000

Over 200,000 state pensioners have reportedly been “left out of pocket” due to historical errors made by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

A Government committee has claimed the DWP has been “asleep at the switch” after older Britons were underpaid by £1.3billion last year.

According to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), £8.2billion has also been overpaid over the last financial year despite pensioners losing out.

Recently, the committee asserted it was “very concerned that DWP reports yet another historic underpayment of State Pension”.

The DWP has stated it expects to pay back an average of £5,000 to affected pensioners, according to the committee.

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PAC estimates that more than 210,000 pensioners have been underpaid by a total of £1.3billion.

Pensioners have been one of the many demographics who have been hit hardest by the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Dame Meg Hillier, chair of the PAC, took aim at the DWP’s failure to prevent widespread errors.

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She explained: “Many pensioners have been left significantly out of pocket by up to thousands, while DWP has been asleep at the switch.

“These are injustices that may never be corrected for some. We are now in a place where Parliament needs assurance that the state pension is being paid accurately.

“We expect DWP to respond to our report in a timely fashion but, frankly, paying pension accurately is a basic that we expect from DWP and not recommendations that our committee ought to be having to make.”

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In its report, PAC urged the Government department to take action to prevent similar mistakes from happening again.

The committee stated: “Now DWP needs to implement its plan and demonstrate a meaningful reduction in the levels of fraud and error.

“DWP expects most of the savings to come from a £443million project to cleanse the benefit system of incorrect payments by reviewing some eight million live Universal Credit cases over the next five years.

“The success of this project is dependent on DWP’s ambitious plans to scale up recruitment and productivity of the team reviewing the claims.”

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