Millions of Universal Credit claimants are being warned their state pension records may be incorrect, according to newly released figures.

According to the National Audit Office (NAO), the figure includes more 100,000 people who are already claiming their state pension.

National Insurance credits used to be added automatically to claimant records by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), however this stopped in 2017/18, when the process became manual.

As a result, millions of people may not have had their records updated and may not be being underpaid their state pension in retirement.

The Bolton News: Not everyone impacted by the switch will be underpaidNot everyone impacted by the switch will be underpaid (Image: PA)

National Insurance credits can help to fill gaps in your National Insurance record if you’re not paying National Insurance, for example when you’re claiming benefits because you’re ill or unemployed.

Anyone on Universal Credit qualifies for class 3 credits automatically, these count towards your State Pension only.

Not everyone impacted by the switch will be underpaid.

The issue was uncovered in February, with the NAO saying this week that the “system issues” were fixed in the same month.

Anyone who purchased National Insurance top-ups as a result of the error will be issued a refund, and the process of correcting records is expected to be completed by the end of March 2024.

The NAO said: “Individuals who claimed Universal Credit during the intervening period have credits missing from their National Insurance record.

“Around 10 million people made a claim to Universal Credit during the affected six-year period.

“Unless these people have a National Insurance credit for some other reason, then their National Insurance record will be incorrect.

“If these people use the government’s Check Your State Pension tool, they will see an inaccurate valuation of their state pension.

“There is therefore a risk that some people may have unnecessarily purchased voluntary Class 3 National Insurance contributions to top-up their state pension.

“DWP has not informed potentially affected claimants about these issues.”

Guy Opperman, minister of state at the DWP, said: "The Department has been working with HMRC to resolve this issue.

"We expect NI records will be fully updated by HMRC over the course of 2023/24, any State Pension entitlement will be reassessed, and any underpayment addressed accordingly."