IT system failings over “successive governments” led to millions of people getting the wrong pensions for decades.
The department for work and pensions (DWP) is investigating how to rectify the situation to ensure ‘every pensioner receives the financial support to which they are entitled”.
The discrepancy was revealed by the BBC this morning, which cited analysis published last month claiming that nearly a quarter of pensioners were underpaid and 17 per cent were overpaid. Some had been both over and under paid across a period of times.
According to the broadcaster, a former DWP minister, Sir Steve Webb, branded the scale of the problem ‘mind-blowing’., with the errors understood to have been public knowledge since the 1990s. in 2002 the department decided it would be too complicated to fix the problem, the report said.
When approached for comment, the DWP said the origin of the errors were decades old and due to successive Labour and Conservative governments not addressing it.
Saying it is investigating, the department insisted 98 per cent of wrong payments are of 1p or 2p a week, and all are below 10p.
A DWP spokesperson said: “Our priority is ensuring every pensioner receives the financial support to which they are entitled and most Graduated Retirement Benefit awards are correct.
“Where they are not, the vast majority of over and under payments are of 1p or 2p per week and we are looking at solutions to this issue which has occurred under successive governments.”
The problem centred on issues with the Pension Strategy Computer System.