OVER £2million in pension overpayments has been written off by Warwickshire County Council (WCC).
In a report to the council, officers said it would not be cost effective to pursue the 1,180 overpayments to retired staff members, totalling £2.2m, which date back an average of 18 years.
The council wrote off the overpayments because the high number of cases and the low value per claim would result in high legal costs, as reported by the BBC-funded Local Democracy Reporting Service.
An additional £45,000 from the Warwickshire Pension Fund will be paid to 122 pensioners who were underpaid.
The cases were highlighted due to a discrepancy between council figures and those held by HMRC.
The report said: “Certain members have been identified as having been underpaid pension and others having been overpaid pension nationally and within the Warwickshire Local Government Pension Scheme (the Fund).
“With regard to underpayment cases, the Fund’s intention is to write to all pensioners and dependents who have suffered an underpayment setting out the correct pension they should now be in receipt of and confirming the historic underpayment.
“The Fund expects to correct the pension in payment and make payment of the historic payments owed as soon as practically possible. The average underpayment is £118 per year.
“With regard to overpayment cases, the pension in payment must be adjusted to the correct value going forward as the Fund cannot knowingly make incorrect payments to any scheme member. This will be done in consultation with each affected member and with no less than two months’ notice of any change.
“Most people affected are likely to be elderly and vulnerable and already facing rising inflation and costs of living. These factors could impact the Fund’s ability to recover some or all of the overpayment and lead to additional unrecoverable costs in taking any recovery action.”
In February, WCC agreed to raise its share of Council Tax by £57 a year for a Band D household, while agreeing £10.2million in budget reductions in 2022-23 as part of a ‘focus on ways to be more efficient and effective in maximising outcomes from taxpayers’ money and the cost-effective delivery of services’.