DWP state pension update as thousands get back payments up to £12,486 - full list of those affected

State pensioner looks at finances

Some pensioners are eligible for payments after errors from the Department for Work and Pensions

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Temi Laleye

By Temi Laleye


Published: 14/06/2024

- 10:11

Updated: 15/06/2024

- 09:12

Some pensioners are eligible for payments after errors from the Department for Work and Pensions

Almost 100,000 pensioners have received back payments up to £12,486, subject to their pension category.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has just released a new report on the advancement of the State Pension Underpayments Legal Entitlements and Administrative Practice (LEAP) operation.


Tens of thousands of women did not receive the state pension they were entitled to under their husband’s National Insurance record due to historic DWP errors.

Those mainly affected are married women (category BL), individuals in a civil partnership, widows and individuals over 80 years of age (category D).

The fresh data has shown that between January 11, 2021 and February 29, 2024, some 705,688 State Pension accounts were vetted for potential mistakes with a cumulative £571.6 million due in underpayments to these women.

Pensioner looks at letter

Around 97,016 State Pension recipients, largely women, have received back payments averaging £12,48

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Some 97,016 State Pension recipients, largely women, have received back payments averaging £2,192, £5,713 and £12,486, subject to their pension category.

This LEAP exercise update provides crucial information for four groups of older people - married women (category BL), people in a civil partnership, widows and those over 80 (category D). These case reviews were due to be completed before the end of 2023 and were reportedly “on track” to be corrected by the end of this year.

Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Progress is being made to rectify the large-scale issue of state pension underpayments, but it is very slow. Just over £571million has been returned so far but with estimates suggesting the scale of underpayments could be around £1.5bn there’s still a very long way to go.

"People have the expectation that the state pension they receive is correct but a series of errors in an already overly complicated system means that for many thousands of people this expectation has been incorrect.

"Some who queried the issue with DWP over the years were told there was no problem, and many have suffered real financial hardship as a result. These people have been let down and need resolution as soon as possible.”

In 2020, the DWP became aware of a number of individuals who had not had their state pension increased, in accordance with the law, automatically when this should have happened.

This prompted the Department to take action to investigate the extent of the problem. However, it's important to note that most of the 12.7 million people receiving the state pension are being paid the right amount of money.

Progress made between January 11, 2021 and February 29, 2024:

Married (Cat BL)

  • Cases reviewed: 317,955
  • Underpayments identified: 43,367
  • Average arrears: £5,713
  • Total amount repaid: £243.8million

Widowed (Cat B)

  • Cases reviewed: 298.099
  • Underpayments identified: 21,175
  • Average arrears: £12,486
  • Total amount repaid: £262million
LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:

Over 80 (Cat D)

  • Cases reviewed: 89,634
  • Underpayments identified: 32,474
  • Average arrears: £2,192
  • Total amount repaid: £65.5million

Progress on the state pension LEAP exercise is based on DWP management information supplied through:

  • Individually reviewed cases to find customers that have been underpaid and the amount they are owed, and to learn why they have been underpaid
  • The department’s computer system that holds alive and deceased state pension cases

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