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UK state pension in ‘shameful mess’ – report – RT World News

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UK state pension in ‘shameful mess’ – report – RT World News

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A report by MPs has criticized the UK government for not being ‘transparent’ about problems with the state pension payment system

The UK House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) released a scathing report on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on Friday, highlighting “mistakes dating back to 1985.”

Problems with the state pension payment system have resulted in around 134,000 pensioners being underpaid by more than £1 billion ($1.36 billion). Of the pensioners affected by the issues, 94,000 are believed to be alive today.

“The errors occurred due to the Department’s use of outdated systems and heavily manual processing, coupled with complacency in error tracking and a quality assurance framework that is not suited to the goal,“, says the report.

Even the department’s attempts to improve the situation have been criticized, as the committee said there had already been nine attempts to correct the errors since 2018.

UK state pension in ‘shameful mess’ – report – RT World News

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Although the PAC outlined ways to remedy the shortcomings, including bringing in experienced and specialized staff to move the department “far from the usual activity”, the necessary changes are estimated to cost the taxpayer £24.3 million ($32.97 million) by the end of 2023.

“It’s a disgraceful waste. PAC expects the DWP to spell out the changes it will make to ensure it is among the last,” Dame Meg Hillier, chair of the committee, said after the report was released.

Responding to the PAC report, the DWP said tackling the problem of underpayments is a government priority. “We have established a dedicated team and devoted significant resources to handling outstanding cases, and have introduced new quality control processes and improved training to prevent this from happening again,” said the DWP spokesperson.

An official DWP response to the PAC findings will be published in due course.

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UK state pension in ‘shameful mess’ – report – RT World News

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