Hundreds of thousands given wrong state pension forecasts, government minister admits

6 June 2019

Around 3% of the government’s 12 million state pension forecasts since 2016 have been incorrect.

The government’s pensions minster has been forced to admit that hundreds of thousands received wrong state pension forecast figures.

Pensions minister Guy Opperman admitted that there had been “significant” problems with incorrect state pension forecasts, in a letter to Royal London’s policy director Steve Webb. 

It was noted that problems with HMRC data meant that around 3% of the government’s 12 million state pension forecasts since 2016 had been incorrect.

The government’s faulty forecasts were communicated to 350,000 pensioners who, as a result, may have been planning their retirement using wrong figures.

The issue first came to light following several reports in the press from members of the public claiming to have received incorrect or inconsistent forecasts.

Some of the forecasts were £1,500 higher than members of the public had previously expected, causing confusion for those attempting work out what they would have to live on in retirement.  

When Mr Webb first flagged the issue, the DWP claimed that the faulty forecasts were isolated errors.

According to Mr Opperman, accuracy rates are improving; the minister says that more work will now be done to try to improve accuracy.

Commenting on the findings, Mr Webb says: “It is therefore very worrying that hundreds of thousands of people may have received incorrect state pension forecasts and in some cases will have taken decisions about their retirement plans on the basis of incorrect information.

“Now that the government is aware of the scale of the problem, it must put an urgent stop to the issuing of incorrect statements.  Individuals need to have confidence that the information they receive from the government is accurate and should not have to live with the uncertainty.”

This article first appeared on our sister website Money Observer


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Despite having a simple contributions history, it took them four months, and four attempts to get my pension right.I can only assume that it was because my wife died before I got to pension age????No money turned up for the first six weeks.When you are coming up to your pension time make sure that you have enough cash in hand to survive a few weeks without your pension.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I am having a nightmare with my state pension. I paid in NI contributions to top it up. They put it in the wrong year. They said they would move it. They didn't. I asked again. They said yes but didn't do it. One lady suggested I paid it again so I did (it was only a small amount and I thought it would sort it out quicker). After 8 months, it is still not sorted. The telephone lines are ridiculous as there are so many numbers and you are expected to know which number to call. I am appalled by their service, their lack of concern and their complete inadequacies. Nowhere is there a page that says which number to call for future pensions, for those who reached retirement age, for HMRC, for shortfall - which doesn't really mean shortfall. And then today, I finally thought I got the right number and they have cut me off twice. What do I do? Who can I complain to? As a government body it seems impossible to complain because everyone blames every other department, I am at a loss. I am very angry. I just want what I deserve after 48 years of work.

In reply to by Lynn DAVIS (not verified)

What to do

Contact your MP and ask them to intervene -this is just appalling. Hope you get it sorted out.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The DWP website should, at the very least, have been kept up-to-date.

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