Full list of older women on State Pension due DWP back payments of up to £12,486

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published an important update on progress of the State Pension Underpayments Legal Entitlements and Administrative Practice (LEAP) exercise. The latest figures show that 97,016 people over State Pension age - mostly women - have received back payments averaging £2,192, £5,713 and £12,486, depending on their pension category.

The new data shows that 705,688 State Pension cases have been checked for possible errors between January 11, 2021 and February 29, 2024, with a total of £571.6 million owed in underpayments.

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.

Commenting on the update, 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 £571m 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.”

State Pension Underpayments LEAP exercise

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 occurred. This prompted the Department to take action to investigate the extent of the problem.

However, it's important to be aware that most of the 12.7 million people receiving the State Pension are being paid the right amount of money.

The State Pension LEAP exercise is checking State Pension awards for the following groups of people:

  • Category BL (Cat BL) - People who are married or in a civil partnership who reached State Pension age before April 6, 2016 and should be entitled to a Category BL uplift based on their partner’s National Insurance contributions.

  • Missed conversions - People who have been widowed and their State Pension was not increased to include any amounts they are entitled to inherit from their late husband, wife or civil partner.

  • Category D (Cat D) - People who reach age 80 and who are getting some Basic State Pension but less than the £85.00 (in 2022-23) and may therefore, subject to satisfying the appropriate residency conditions, be entitled to Cat D State Pension of £85.00 a week.

State Pension underpayment progress - February 2024

The number of cases reviewed, arrears identified and payments made between January 2021 and February 2024 are listed below.

Married (Cat BL)

  • Cases reviewed: 317,955

  • Underpayments identified: 43,367

  • Average arrears: £5,713

  • Total amount repaid: £243.8 million

Widowed (Cat B)

  • Cases reviewed: 298.099

  • Underpayments identified: 21,175

  • Average arrears: £12,486

  • Total amount repaid: £262.3 million

Over 80 (Cat D)

  • Cases reviewed: 89,634

  • Underpayments identified: 32,474

  • Average arrears: £2,192

  • Total amount repaid: £65.5 million

How to check if you are affected or make a claim

There are now nearly 12.7 million people across Great Britain claiming State Pension, including more than one million in Scotland. Of that overall total, 9.3 million are in receipt of the Basic State Pension and 3.4 million on the New State Pension.

The Basic State Pension is now worth up to £156.20 each week and the New State Pension up to £221.20.

A phone call to the pension service is the quickest way to find out if you have been underpaid your State Pension. The best number to call is 0800 731 0469 but full contact details can be found on the Gov.uk website here.

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