To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many calls to the Future Pension Centre helpline (a) were not answered, (b) involved the caller being on hold for more than 10 minutes and (c) were terminated by the Future Pension Centre following the caller being on hold for more than 10 minutes in each of the last 12 months.
The DWP Future Pension Centre helpline has experienced unprecedented levels of contact from customers considering whether to pay voluntary National Insurance Contributions (vNICS) before the deadline.
In a normal month, the Department would receive 30,000 to 50,000 calls. In the four-week period to 26th March, the Department received more than half a million calls. In order to deal with this, additional staff have been deployed as quickly as possible and measures have been put in place to direct customers to the online version of the service at gov.uk.
See below data on the number of calls not answered. Note this is not the number of individuals who contacted the Future Pension Centre but the number of calls made, often multiple times by the same individual.
To alleviate customer concerns about meeting the deadline for paying vNICs, HM Revenue & Customs has also announced it will extend the deadline to pay these contributions until 31 July 2023.
Period of calls made to the Future Pension Centre Helpline
Calls to Helpline
28/02/2022 - 27/03/2022
28/03/2022 - 24/04/2022
25/04/2022 - 22/05/2022
23/05/2022 - 19/06/2022
20/06/2022 - 17/07/2022
18/07/2022 - 14/08/2022
15/08/2022 - 11/09/2022
12/09/2022 - 09/10/2022
10/10/2022 - 06/11/2022
07/11/2022 - 04/12/2022
05/12/2022 - 01/01/2023
02/01/2023 - 29/01/2023
30/01/2023 - 26/02/2023
*‘Calls Blocked’ refers to the instances when DWP does not allow the call to enter the call waiting queue and the line cuts off.
It is not possible to respond to elements b & c of the question as this information is only available at disproportionate cost to the Department for Work & Pensions, as the Department does not have a business requirement for this information to be retained.
The Management Information used has been taken from the same operational source data systems as our published administrative data. However, as this Management Information is not a recognised National or Official Statistic, it has not been subjected to the same level of Quality Assurance. As a result, these figures should be treated with caution.