The Department for Work and Pensions has been urged to make it clear that state pension forecasts are provisional and subject to change.
Royal London director of policy Steve Webb has highlighted the issue following a column he wrote for This is Money, in which a reader said her husband had been given an inaccurate state pension forecast due to him being contracted out.
The former Pensions Minister explained that the process of adjusting state pension entitlements for past periods of contracting out is fiendishly complex, which is one reason why contracting out has now been abolished.
“Members of the public have no chance of working out whether or not adjustments for contracting out are correct, so the DWP must make it clear that estimates are provisional and subject to change. Figures also need to be finalised as soon as possible, as it is unreasonable for people to have their pension changed once they have started to receive it,” he said.
In some circumstances Webb said that there has been cases of state pensions being cut once a person has received it due to record being updated.
A spokesperson for the DWP said: “State pension forecasts are based on information held at the time of the request. However, when someone’s national insurance contribution records change or are updated, their forecast may change too.”