Department for Work and Pensions

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Department for Work and Pensions
Welsh: Yr Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau
Caxton House - - 2494241.jpg
Department overview
Formed 8 June 2001
Preceding Department
Jurisdiction United Kingdom
Headquarters Caxton House, Tothill Street, London
Annual budget $560.1 billion (social security benefits), $18.4 billion (current) and $800 million (capital) in 2013-14 [1][2]
Minister responsible
Department executive
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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is the largest government department in the United Kingdom, and is responsible for welfare and pension policy.

The Department has four operational organisations:[3]


The Department was created on 8 June 2001[5] as a merger of the Department of Social Security, Employment Service and the policy groups of the Department for Education and Employment involved in employment policy and international issues.[6][7]

The Department was initially tasked with creating Jobcentre Plus and the Pensions Service from the remains of the Employment Service and the Benefits Agency.[6] The Department is therefore responsible for welfare and pension policy.[8] It aims "to help its customers become financially independent and to help reduce child poverty."[9]


The department's ministers are:[9]

Minister Rank Portfolio
The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Secretary of State Overall responsibility
Priti Patel Minister of State Employment
Baroness Altmann CBE Minister of State Pensions and Child Maintenance
Shailesh Vara MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Justin Tomlinson MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Disabled people
Lord Freud Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (unpaid) Welfare reform

The Permanent Secretary is Robert Devereux.

The Pension Service

File:The Pension Service logo.png
The Pension Service's logo

With the creation of the department in June 2001, The Pension Service was created, bringing together many different departments and divisions. The Pension Service is a 'dedicated service for current and future pensioners'.[10]

The Pension Service consists of local Pension Centres and centrally-based centres, many of latter are based at the Tyneview Park complex in Newcastle upon Tyne. At Tyneview Park the following centres are found:

  • Future Pension Centre (FPC) provides state pension forecasts for people approaching retirement age.[11]
  • National Pension Centre (NPC) deals with change of circumstances and enquiries regarding pension payments into bank accounts.[12]
  • Pension Tracing Service (PTS) helps track old pensions and pension schemes.[13]
  • International Pension Centre (IPC) deals with all enquiries regarding the payment of state pension, bereavement benefits, incapacity benefits and other such benefits for those living abroad.[14]

Local Pension Centres deal with localised claims for state pension and retirement related benefits. Pension Centres are found all over the country, and for the residents of London a central London Pension Centre is housed at Tyneview Park[15][better source needed] Such benefits dealt with at local Pension Centres include:

Disability and Carers Service

The Disability and Carers Service offers financial support for those who are disabled and their carers, whether in or out of employment. The DCS have offices throughout the country and deal with the following benefits:[16]

Former structure

Prior to 2008, The Pension Service and the Disability and Carers Service were two separate executive agencies however the decision was made in April 2008 to merge both agencies into one entity named The Pension, Disability and Carers Service.[17] Both former agencies kept their corporate branding and provided services under their separate identities. The decision was made due to the two agencies sharing roughly fifty percent of the same customers and as a single agency, the rationalisation of services would provide a better service for customers.[18]

The status of PDCS as an executive agency (and its existence as a merged entity) was removed on 1 October 2011 with the functions being brought back inside the department and both The Pension Service and the Disability and Carers Service becoming distinct entities once again.[19] Prior to July 2012 the Child Support Agency was the operating arm of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC).

All are now operated wholly from within the department, with the names continuing as brand identifiers.

DWP buildings at Quarry Hill, Leeds (known locally as 'The Pink Palace' and 'The Kremlin')

Public bodies and estate

The department's public bodies include:[20]

The department has corporate buildings in London, Leeds, Blackpool, Newcastle upon Tyne, Warrington and Sheffield. Jobcentre Plus, The Pension Service and the Disability and Carers Service operate through a network of around 1,000 Jobcentres, contact centres and benefit processing centres across the UK.

After the departure of John Suffolk as Government Chief Information Officer (CIO) in November 2010,[21] the current CIO of the Department for Work and Pensions, Joe Harley, was picked to replace him.[22]


The total annual budget of the department in 2011-12 is £151.6 billion, representing approximately 28% of total UK Government spending.[23] The department spends a far greater share of national wealth than any other department in Britain, by a wide margin.

A report of February 2012 stated that a sum amounting to billions of pounds of money payable through possible benefit claims had not been claimed. In 2009-2010 the Dept stated £1.95 billion job-seekers allowance, £2 billion income support and employment and support allowance, £2.4 billion in council tax, £2.8bn in pension credit and £3.1 billion for housing benefit; in total £12.25 billion had not been claimed.[24]


The department is a major commissioner of external social science research, with the objective of providing the evidence base needed to inform departmental strategy, policy-making and delivery.[25] The department has developed and uses various microsimulation and other models, including the Policy Simulation Model (for appraisal of policy options), Pensim2 (to create projections of pension entitlements up to 2100) and Inform (to produce the Department's benefit caseload forecasts). Datasets held include the LLMDB and the Family Resources Survey.

During 2012 the department announced records of the number of people born outside of the United Kingdom ("non-UK nationals") claiming work-related benefits from 2011, using data already collated within the department together with those of HM Revenue and Customs and the UK Border Agency[26] (whose duties are now fulfilled by UK Visas and Immigration).

Devolution and parity

Employment, health and safety, and social security policy are reserved matters in Scotland.[27]

Northern Ireland has parity with Great Britain in three areas:

Policy in these areas is technically devolved but, in practice, follows policy set by Parliament to provide consistency across the United Kingdom.[28] Employment and health and safety policy are fully devolved.

The department's main counterparts in Northern Ireland are:


In August 2015 the department admitted using fictional stories from made-up claimants on leaflets advertising the positive impact of benefit sanctions, following a Freedom of Information request from Welfare Weekly,[29] claiming that they were for "illustrative purposes only"[30][31] and that it was "quite wrong" to pass these off as genuine quotes.[32]

Later that month figures were released which showed that between December 2011 and February 2014, 2,650 people died shortly after their Work Capability Assessment told them that they should be finding work.[33] The DWP had fought hard for the figures not to be released, with chief minister Iain Duncan Smith at one point telling Parliament that they did not exist.[34]

According to research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health by Oxford University and Liverpool University, there were an additional 590 suicides between 2010 and 2013 in areas where Work Capability Assessments were carried out. The researchers claimed the DWP had introduced the policy of moving people off benefits without understanding the consequences.[35]

See also


  1. Budget 2014 (PDF). London: HM Treasury. 2014. p. 93. Retrieved 30 December 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Budget 2011 (PDF). London: HM Treasury. 2011. p. 48. Retrieved 30 December 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Department for Work and Pensions: Customer delivery
  4. "Huge Victory For Sick And Disabled Claimants As Atos Chased Out Of Vicious Benefit Assessments | the void". 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2015-06-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. E Carmel & T Papadopoulos. "The New governance of Social Security in Britain". University of Bath. Retrieved 6 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Dept. of Social Security. "Resource Accounts 2000-2001". Retrieved 6 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions Retrieved 6 June 2012
  8. Department for Work and Pensions: About DWP
  9. 9.0 9.1 Cabinet Office List of Government Departments and Ministers: Department for Work and Pensions
  10. [1] Archived January 18, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  11. "Get a State Pension statement - GOV.UK". 2015-06-10. Retrieved 2015-06-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Contact the Pension Service - GOV.UK". 2014-11-12. Retrieved 2015-06-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Find a lost pension - GOV.UK". 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2015-06-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "State Pension if you retire abroad - GOV.UK". 2015-02-02. Retrieved 2015-06-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Where Is The Tyneview Park, Newcastle?". Blurtit. Retrieved 2015-06-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Carers and disability benefits - GOV.UK". Retrieved 2015-06-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "No longer available - GOV.UK" (PDF). 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2015-06-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. [2] Archived May 11, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  19. "Government announces organisational changes to Jobcentre Plus and the Pension, Disability and Carers Service - Press releases - GOV.UK". 2011-09-12. Retrieved 2015-06-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Department for Work and Pensions: DWP sponsored public bodies
  21. "John Suffolk to leave as Government CIO - a blow to G-Cloud, innovation and radical reform?". Computerworld UK. 16 November 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Joe Harley expected to be new Government CIO". Computerworld UK. 20 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. News Distribution Service Retrieved September 2011
  24. BBC 23 February 2012 report Retrieved 2012-07-08
  25. Department for Work and Pensions: Research, analysis and statistics
  26. Department for Works and Pensions - newsroom:20 January 2012 Retrieved 9 July 2012
  27. Scotland Act 1998, Schedule 5, Heads F&H
  28. Northern Ireland Act 1998, Part VIII, Social security, child support and pensions
  29. "DWP uses fake claimants in benefit sanctions leaflet". Dial2Donate. Retrieved 26 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. Kevin Rawlinson; Frances Perraudin (18 August 2015). "DWP admits inventing quotes from fake 'benefits claimants' for sanctions leaflet". The Guardian.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. Kevin Rawlinson (21 August 2015). "Fake benefits claimant 'Zac' quoted in other DWP documents". The Guardian.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. The Minister for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan-Smith, admits a leaflet about benefits containing fake quotes from fictitious claimants was 'wrong' Andrew Sparrow (24 August 2015). "Use of fake quotes in benefits leaflet 'quite wrong', Iain Duncan Smith admits". The Guardian.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. Stone, Jon (27 August 2015). "Thousands have died soon after being found 'fit to work' by the DWP's benefit tests". The Independent. Retrieved 28 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. David Rankin (17 November 2015). "Hundreds of extra suicides in 'fit to work' regions, study finds". Times newspapers. Retrieved 17 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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