Man awarded £132,000 in state pension back payments after 11 years as people are urged to see if they too may be owed money
The DWP says people should claim what they are entitled to
People are being warned they could be missing out on big money in unclaimed state pensions after a man received a huge payout.
The Department for Work and Pensions says it wants everyone to be able to claim what they are entitled to after pensioner Peter Williams was paid an eye-watering £132,000 in back payments.
Mr Williams, 76, was given £132,800 in back payments for his state pension by the DWP - which has now admitted it doesn't know how many people might be missing out on payments.
He had filled out the forms to start claiming his state pension 11 years ago.
Peter Williams (Image: Peter Williams/The Mirror)
But when he heard nothing back he assumed he wasn't eligible for the £168.50 a week payout - so lived on two workplace pensions and savings, Mirror Money reports.
It turned out his claim went missing after he sent it to an office in Belfast instead of Wolverhampton.
And it wasn't until the Cardiff man got to the last £200 in his account - when he decided to take some equity out of his home to help cover some home improvements - that he discovered he was owed the state pension money.
The equity release firm reviewed his finances and found the astonishing amount he was owed along with the extra money he was due each week.
Now financial company Responsible Life has found - through a Freedom of Information request - that the DWP doesn't even know how many eligible people are missing out or what it owes them.
The DWP said it did not hold data on people who haven't started claiming their pension, or how much they could be owed. It also doesn't remind people.
“Invitations are issued to prospective SP (state pension) customers four months before state pension age," the DWP said.
"There is no legal requirement for DWP to notify people, either individually or generally, about eligibility for state pension. However, DWP provides a claim invitation to ensure as many citizens are prompted to claim. Reminders are not issued.”