Pensioners need better information about their State Earning Related Pensions, according to a new re...
Pensioners need better information about their State Earning Related Pensions, according to a new report from the National Audit Office, as lack of understanding about its workings and value is causing some pensioners to misunderstand the benefits they are due.
The NAO report highlights the importance of offering clear information after a simple administrative error led several people to think their inherited SERPS still enabled them a full pension once their partner died.
According to NAO, this error has affected millions of people and it has also led to an unknown number of people making decisions about their future based on an incorrect understanding of the new rules.
The inherited SERPS problem commenced when the then Department of Social Security fell short in advertising a legislation change that would have reduced the amount of money that could be inherited by a surviving spouse by half- from 100% to 50%.
"The inherited SERPS problem was a major failure of administration which caused anxiety and stress for many people," says Sir John Bourn, head of the NAO.
To rectify the problem, The NAO suggests that more care should be paid to ensure that staff provide customers with the latest information, that all figures and facts available are up to date and that the correspondence with the customers work efficiently.
The problem with the inherited SERPS first became known in 1999, however, not until August 2000, the Public Accounts Committee reported on the failure.
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