State pension delays resolved by the end of October - Opperman

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will clear the state pension payment backlog by the end of October 2021, according to Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman.

Opperman commented that the department was working hard to clear backlogs which were a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and added that staffing issues had now been rectified, stating that “hundreds of additional staff” were currently being redeployed to work on the issue.

He was responding to a question from Labour MP, Andrew Gwynne, who had asked “whether there have been any reported delays in processing initial payments for those who have reached state pension age”.

Opperman responded: "Normal service will be resumed by the end of October 2021.

"The department is working hard to clear backlogs which have occurred by reason of the Covid pandemic and staffing issues which have now been rectified.

"Hundreds of additional staff are currently being redeployed."

The Pensions Minister’s commitment comes the day after the Daily Mirror reported that “thousands of retirees” awaiting their first ever state pension payments had faced months of delays.

In July 2021, Opperman announced that the DWP was taking on 183 additional staff to "enhance our resources to work on our state pension teams".

In an April written statement, Opperman also revealed that the DWP was hiring an additional 360 staff to address historic state pension underpayment issues.

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