Hundreds of thousands given wrong pension forecasts

by Tom Bailey from Money Observer |

Around 3% of the government's 12 million state pension forecasts since 2016 have been incorrect.

The government's pensions minster has been forced to admit that hundreds of thousands received wrong state pension forecast figures.

In a letter to Royal London's policy director Steve Webb, pension minister Guy Opperman admitted that there had been "significant" problems with incorrect state pension forecasts.

It was noted that problems with HMRC data meant that around 3% of the government's 12 million state pension forecasts since 2016 had been incorrect.

The government's faulty forecasts were communicated to 350,000 pensioners who, as a result, may have been planning their retirement using wrong figures.

The issue first came to light following several reports in the press from members of the public claiming to have received incorrect or inconsistent forecasts. Some of the forecasts were £1,500 higher than members of the public had previously expected, causing confusion for those attempting work out what they would have to live on in retirement.  

When Webb first flagged the issue, the DWP claimed that the faulty forecasts were isolated errors.

According to Opperman, accuracy rates are improving; the minister says that more work will now be done to try to improve accuracy.

Commenting on the findings, Webb said: "It is therefore very worrying that hundreds of thousands of people may have received incorrect state pension forecasts and in some cases will have taken decisions about their retirement plans on the basis of incorrect information.

"Now that the government is aware of the scale of the problem, it must put an urgent stop to the issuing of incorrect statements.  Individuals need to have confidence that the information they receive from the government is accurate and should not have to live with the uncertainty."

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Money Observer. Click here to subscribe.

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