UK Government faces criticism over “failures of communication” in implementing new state pension

Written by Josh May on 28 March 2016 in News

From April, only 13 per cent of those hitting state pension age in the first year will receive the standard flat rate of £155.65 per week

The UK Government has faced criticism from MPs over “failures of communication” in implementing the new state pension, coming into force next month.

From April, only 13 per cent of those hitting state pension age in the first year will receive the standard flat rate of £155.65 per week.

More than half (55 per cent) will end up receiving less than the flat rate, while 32 per cent will get more, the Work and Pensions Committee said.


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But the Committee warned that many of those who stand to receive less under the new system than they would otherwise have done should have been made aware more clearly.

Labour MP Frank Field, Committee chairman, said: “The New State Pension will ultimately be a welcome simplification of an over complicated system. The problem is that failures of communication mean that too few people understand it. The Government seems to have managed to muddle its communications to the point where neither the winners nor losers yet know who they are.

“There is no way that communicating changes which affect different groups very differently, over different timelines, should ever have been left to general awareness campaigns or happenchance. The oversimplified message about the flat-rate amount has left many people unprepared and confused.”

People would receive less than under the current system if they have fewer than ten years of National Insurance contributions or if they relied on spousal contributions.

The MPs argue that people over the age of 50 should receive annual statements on their state pension status.

It also welcomed a plan in the recent Budget for a ‘pensions dashboard’.

A DWP spokesperson said: “Millions stand to gain from the changes, including women and the self-employed, who so often have lost out in the past.”

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