State PensionAug 17 2021

Petition calls for annual state pension forecasts

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Petition calls for annual state pension forecasts
Credit: Fotoeye75
ByAmy Austin

A petition is urging the government to send everyone with a national insurance number an annual state pension forecast.

At the time of writing (August 17) the newly launched petition had secured about 200 signatures, with a closing date of February 16, 2022.

If the petition reaches 10,000 signatures, the government will respond and if it gathers 100,000 before its deadline, it will be considered for debate in parliament.

The petition is calling on the government to send everyone with an NI number an annual forecast advising them of the date they will be allowed to claim the state pension and how much they would get based on current NI contributions.

This means if changes were made to pension entitlements by the government then people would find out within a year.

The petition stated: “Many women born in the 1950s assumed everything their mothers received they would, as they were not advised to the contrary, but this is not the case.

"With an annual forecast statement every person would have up to date information about their entitlements. Private pensions send out yearly info - why not let the government do the same. 

“Ensure the debacle regarding pensions for women born in the 1950s never happens again.”

At present, savers can request a state pension forecast using the government's online system but one is not sent automatically.

If savers are due to reach state pension age in more than 30 days, they can also fill in an application form and send it by post or call the Future Pension Centre which will post the forecast.

The petition comes after the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman found there were failings in the way the Department for Work and Pensions communicated changes to the women’s state pension age.

In its report, published last month, the PHSO said the DWP had communicated adequately the planned female pension age rises between 1995, when the change was first legislated for, and 2004.

But it had failed to act promptly after analysis in 2004 found the government's information campaign was not reaching the “people who needed it”, and recommended a targeted approach.

The PHSO is now considering the impact of the failings, and what action should be taken to address them.

Campaign groups BackTo60 and the Women Against State Pension Inequality have claimed over the years that when the 1995 Conservative government’s Pensions Act included plans to raise the women’s state pension age to 65 — the same as men’s — the changes were implemented unfairly, with little or no personal notice.

But any attempts at securing restitution have so far failed.