MP briefing on complaints about communication of changes to women’s state pension age

Update on the handling of complaints about the communication of state pension age changes for women by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

In October 2018, we issued a proposal to investigate a sample of six complaints about the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) in relation to the communication of changes in the State Pension age for women born after 6 April 1950 and associated issues.  

Women tell us that they have experienced financial loss and a negative impact on their health, emotional well-being and domestic situations as a result of poor communication of the changes to their State Pension age and associated issues. 

Last year the High Court granted permission for a judicial review of the means by which the Government implemented changes to the State Pension age, including how the changes were communicated. When the judicial review was announced, we found that it would consider similar issues to those we were proposing to investigate.

The judgment of the judicial review was issued on 3 October 2019. We are considering the High Court ruling before deciding whether to investigate.

We have received a significant number of similar complaints since we first proposed to investigate, and these numbers have increased in recent weeks. Our review of the complaints we have received shows that they relate to the same key issues. As we are currently considering whether to investigate these key issues, we are not accepting any new complaints about them at present.

Further information

PHSO makes final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England and UK government departments, and some other UK public organisations. We do this independently and impartially. We are not part of government, the NHS in England or a regulator. We are neither a consumer champion nor an advocacy service. 

Members of the public can bring a complaint about the NHS to us directly. We can only consider cases relating to UK government departments and other public organisations if MPs refer these to us.

More information on our work, including how MPs can refer complaints to us about Government departments and agencies, is available on our information for MPs page. 

If you have further questions relating to the issues outlined here, please contact