Written by Tom Selby, head of retirement policy at AJ Bell
While it is positive the government has identified over £200 million of state pension underpayments, this is still a long way short of the £1 billion the National Audit Office estimates is owed to pensioners.
This saga is particularly tragic as many of the people affected will have been struggling unnecessarily for years. What’s more, the NAO estimated around 40,000 of the people who were due a repayment had sadly died without receiving it.
It is absolutely critical all those affected by this scandal receive the money they are owed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
For retirees on low incomes preparing for a cold winter, a cash windfall worth thousands of pounds could prove a lifeline after years surviving on an artificially low income due to the DWP’s errors.
Once compensation has been paid, the government needs to undertake a comprehensive review of its processes to ensure these mistakes are never repeated.
Trust in pensions is fragile at the best of times and failures such as this will not help. Sadly, it will likely take years, if not decades, to rebuild the confidence lost as a result of this scandal.