Women have been let down by the DWP’s pension age changes.
According to an ombudsman, women were let down when the government neglected to notify them of changes to their state pension age in a timely manner.
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) claimed the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) failed to respond swiftly enough after learning that a large number of women were unaware of the situation.
The 1995 Pensions Act made the retirement age for men and women the same. It is currently 66 and is expected to climb to 67 between 2026 and 2028.
The ombudsman stated that it had received a significant number of complaints. Many ladies reported they had been distressed and had lost money.
According to the PHSO, there were failures in DWP staff’s actions to convey the state pension age beginning in 2005. Its investigation will continue to evaluate the impact of this and make suggestions to address any injustices that may have occurred as a result.
The DWP “knew a large majority of women were not informed of changes to their state pension age,” according to Amanda Amroliwala, PHSO chief executive. It should have written to the impacted ladies at least 28 months before.”
“Both the High Court and the Court of Appeal have endorsed the conduct of the DWP,” a DWP official stated.
“Millions of women were affected by rises in their state pension age,” said Tom Selby, a senior analyst at financial firm AJ Bell. These women had a fair expectation that the government would offer as much information as feasible in order to communicate changes that would have such a significant impact on their retirement plans.
“Given the status of the UK economy, suggestions from some quarters to compensate women in full – perhaps amounting to six years of state pension benefits – are likely to fall on deaf ears.”
The PHSO stated that it does not have the authority to compel the DWP to increase pensions or pay back money that women would have received if the pension age had not been raised.
“Many complainants have informed us they want their state pension reinstated, the state pension age to be lowered to 60, and/or compensation,” it said.