MILLIONS of people have received the wrong pension for decades as a result of UK Government IT failures.

It is thought the errors have been known about since the 1990s but have failed to have been corrected, the BBC reports.

Official analysis published last month suggests that 23% of pensioners were underpaid whilst 17% were overpaid.

Sir Steve Webb, who served as pensions minister from 2010 to 2015 said he was never aware of the problem: “The scale of these errors is truly mind-blowing.

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“Although the absolute size of the errors is typically small, the number of people potentially affected is huge. More worrying is the total lack of transparency.

“It beggars belief to hear that a government department could simply decide that it was acceptable to pay the wrong rate of pension for decades but feel under no duty to tell parliament or the public.

“If the Department for Work and Pensions has sat on this secret for decades, it makes you wonder how many other things simply get brushed under the carpet.”

The problem is linked to the Pension Strategy Computer System, and its inability to accurately uprate an element of the state pension called the graduated retirement benefit.

MPs have previously described the system as “not fit for purpose.”

It was originally supposed to be shut down in 2020 but has been kept going on a temporary basis.

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The problem mainly affects widows, divorcees and women who rely on their husband’s pension contributions for some of their pension entitlement and is expected to cost the government over £1bn.