Is your State Pension forecast wrong?
An article in yesterday’s Sunday Times reported that the online forecast facility for State Pension entitlement was producing incorrect results.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) implemented an online service in April 2016 that allows anyone to request how much State Pension they will receive each week. This is a key piece of data for retirement planning as the State Pension is a significant part of most retirees’ income – for one in seven people it is their sole income!
Since the launch of the online tool, over 2.5 million people have used it.
It appears that the problem affects people with defined-benefit (DB) workplace pensions schemes in which they were “contracted-out” from some of the state pension.
It is unclear exactly how many of the 2.5 million people who have used the service might be affected but, across the whole population, the figure could be as high as 5 million. The source of the problem appears to be the rate that is applied to revalue the “contracted-out” element has already led to the DWP pointing at the HMRC.
The article highlighted the plight of an individual who had used the online tool and then requested a paper-based forecast. The difference between the two forecasts (from the same source) amounted to almost £700 a year. For many people, this would be a significant difference.
It appears that the Sunday Times may have a scoop on this problem and, at the moment, there appears to be little response from the DWP. Prominent MP’s are rightly demanding answers. The best advice seems to be to contact the Future Pension Centre and request a paper copy – go to www.gov.uk/future-pension-centre or call 0345 300 0168.
We will issue an update on this story as soon as we get the information. If you wish to discuss any aspect of retirement planning, contact us at People and Business Independent Financial Advisers.