Women’s State Pension age communications inadequate, Ombudsman finds

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has found failings in the way the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) communicated changes to women’s State Pension age.

The 1995 Pensions Act changed the law so that women would no longer be able to claim their State Pension at 60.  

The Ombudsman received a significant number of complaints about the way this was communicated by DWP. Many women said that they were not aware of the changes, and experienced significant financial loss and emotional distress as a result.

PHSO has found that from 2005 onwards, there were failings in the action taken by DWP to communicate the State Pension age.

The investigation report has been laid before Parliament. It describes how DWP failed to make reasonable decisions based on the information available to it, and failed to communicate with the women affected with enough urgency.

Amanda Amroliwala, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman CEO, said:

‘After a detailed investigation, we have found that DWP failed to act quickly enough once it knew a significant proportion of women were not aware of changes to their State Pension age. It should have written to the women affected at least 28 months earlier than it did.

‘We will now consider the impact of these failings, and what action should be taken to address them.’

You can read the full report or download the (PDF 1MB).