Departmental digital team works on an online service to make it easier to claim old pensions
The Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) digital team is working a new online version of the Pension Tracing Service (PTS).
It has built a prototype which it is currently running through tests and reiterations, working with pension project teams in the department, the Future Pension Centre, the Pensions Regulator and HM Revenue & Customs.
A blogpost by the DWP’s digital team says it is aiming to simplify a process that involves calling a contact centre or filling out a complex, six-page web form, and wants to take out the jargon and make it available on a 24/7 basis.
So far it has submitted the prototype to laboratory testing with people who are trying to track down a pension, and spoken with more than 300 members of the public and about 200 supportive agencies.
It says it has also made a point of working with people who don’t like or are inexperienced at using computers, and is making provisions for anyone who does not have internet access or has low digital skills.
No clear timescale has been stated, but a DWP spokesperson suggested it should not be a long term project.
“It’s about developing a service we already have available to be more user-friendly,” he said. “It shouldn’t take too long to set up.”
He added that the service would not produce instantaneous results for anyone tracing a pension, as the process usually involves some investigation by staff.
Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0