The Government has identified state pensions underpayments worth almost £500 million caused by the DWP (Department of Work & Pensions) incompetence.

The underpayments were found to have affected more than 82,000 people and spanned decades, after a barrage of complaints forced the Government to launch an investigation in January 2021.

The number of people affected may rise to 170,000 with a total of £835 million needing to be repaid, according to the latest official estimate, an average of £4,900 each.

It has been described as a ‘shameful shambles’ by Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the public accounts committee in a report published last year.

“Departments that make errors through maladministration have a duty to put those it wronged back in the in the position they should have been.

In reality the DWP can never make up what people have really lost, over decades, and in many cases it’s not even trying. An unknown number of pensioners died without ever getting their due and there is no current plan to pay back their estates.

Tom Selby, the head of retirement policy at A J BELL, said; “This saga is particularly tragic as many of the people affected will have been struggling unnecessarily for years. It is critical that all of those affected by this scandal receive the money they are as owed as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The DWP have said; “The action we are taking now is correcting historical underpayments made by successive governments. Our priority is ensuring pensioners receive the financial support to which they are entitled, and we have set up a dedicated team and devoted significant resources towards completing the correction exercise.”