Thousands of retirees left waiting MONTHS for benefits due to first state pension payment delays

THOUSANDS of Brits have been left waiting months for their state pension because of delays.

People reaching retirement age this year have complained of lengthy waits for their first payment after years of working towards the benefit.

It's thought that thousands of newly minted pensioners claiming for the first time are affected by delays at the Department for Work and Pensions.

Around 13,000 new state pension claims are made each week and the benefits is worth up to £778 a month.

Anyone who reaches the state pension age, which is currently 66, has to make a claim for the money – it doesn't happen automatically.

Brits reaching state pension age should receive a letter from the DWP no later than two months before their retirement date explaining how they can claim.

But they can apply up to four months before without the paperwork.

The first payment after this is usually a month later as the benefit is paid in arrears.

But new retirees have complained of delays getting the cash with many sending messages to the DWP on Twitter.

One said they claimed in April and reached state pension age in July, but was still waiting six weeks later and told there would be a further delay of between eight and 10 weeks.

Some have reported waiting as long as three months for their first payment.

Many of those affected are so-called Waspi women, who havealready had to wait longer for their state pension after previous changes to the state pension age from 60 to 65.

The DWP has not said how many have been affected but those who are do not have to take any action and will receive their backdated payments in one lump sum.

A spokesperson for the government department said: "We are sorry that some new state pension customers have faced delays receiving payment.

"All those affected have been identified and we have deployed extra resources to process these as a priority.

"Any claims made today should not be subject to delay."

But the delay could leave people struggling to get by.

Some benefit payments like Employment Support Allowance (ESA) are stopped automatically when reaching state pension age.

Steve Webb, partner at LCP and a former pensions minister, said some affected by the delay have been left with a shortfall.

He said: "Paying pensions on time is a core responsibility of the DWP and it is very worrying that so many people are coming forward and reporting delays. 

"Although some people can use savings to tide themselves over, others may be placed in real financial hardship if their pension is delayed. 

"DWP needs to be open about the scale of the problem and explain what it is doing to put things right as a matter of urgency".

Patricia Gibson, the MP for North Ayrshire and Arran said the delays are causing "hardship and distress" and has written to work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey to urgently investigate and address the delays.

The delays come as the government said the triple lock which influences the annual rise in the amount of state pension people get will be paused because of Covid.

It means pensioners will miss out on thousands of pounds over their retirement because the rise will not be linked to earnings next year.

We pay for your stories!

Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team?

Email us at [email protected]

    Source: Read Full Article