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Department for Work and Pensions

Department for Work and Pensions
Welsh: Yr Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau
Department overview
Formed 8 June 2001
Preceding Department
Jurisdiction United Kingdom
Headquarters Caxton House, Tothill Street, London
Annual budget £174.3 billion (social security benefits), £7.6 billion (current) and £200 million (capital) in 2011-12 [1][2]
Minister responsible
Department executive
Website /
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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]


  • History 1
  • Ministers 2
  • The Pension Service 3
  • Disability and Carers Service 4
  • Former structure 5
  • Public bodies and estate 6
  • Budget 7
  • Research 8
  • Devolution and parity 9
  • Controversy 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


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.[8] The Department is therefore responsible for welfare and pension policy.[9] It aims "to help its customers become financially independent and to help reduce child poverty."[10]


The department's ministers are:[10]

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

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'.[11]

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.[12]
  • National Pension Centre (NPC) deals with change of circumstances and enquiries regarding pension payments into bank accounts.[13]
  • Pension Tracing Service (PTS) helps track old pensions and pension schemes.[14]
  • 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.[15]

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[16] 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:[17]

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.[18] 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.[19]

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.[20] 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:[21]

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,[22] the current CIO of the Department for Work and Pensions, Joe Harley, was picked to replace him.[23]


The total annual budget of the department in 2011-12 is £151.6 billion, representing approximately 28% of total UK Government spending.[24] 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.[25]


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.[26] 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[27] (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.[28]

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.[29] 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.[30]

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.[31] 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.[32]

See also


  1. ^ Budget 2011 (PDF). London: HM Treasury. 2011. p. 93. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Budget 2011 (PDF). London: HM Treasury. 2011. p. 48. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  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. 
  5. ^ E Carmel & T Papadopoulos. "The New governance of Social Security in Britain" (PDF). University of Bath. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Dept. of Social Security. "Resource Accounts 2000-2001". Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  7. ^ European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions Retrieved 6 June 2012
  8. ^
  9. ^ Department for Work and Pensions: About DWP
  10. ^ a b Cabinet Office List of Government Departments and Ministers: Department for Work and Pensions
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ "Get a State Pension statement - GOV.UK". 2015-06-10. Retrieved 2015-06-22. 
  13. ^ "Contact the Pension Service - GOV.UK". 2014-11-12. Retrieved 2015-06-22. 
  14. ^ "Find a lost pension - GOV.UK". 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2015-06-22. 
  15. ^ "State Pension if you retire abroad - GOV.UK". 2015-02-02. Retrieved 2015-06-22. 
  16. ^ "Where Is The Tyneview Park, Newcastle?". Blurtit. Retrieved 2015-06-22. 
  17. ^ "Carers and disability benefits - GOV.UK". Retrieved 2015-06-22. 
  18. ^ "No longer available - GOV.UK" (PDF). 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2015-06-22. 
  19. ^ [4]
  20. ^ "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. 
  21. ^ Department for Work and Pensions: DWP sponsored public bodies
  22. ^ "John Suffolk to leave as Government CIO - a blow to G-Cloud, innovation and radical reform?". Computerworld UK. 16 November 2010. 
  23. ^ "Joe Harley expected to be new Government CIO". Computerworld UK. 20 January 2011. 
  24. ^ News Distribution Service Retrieved September 2011
  25. ^ BBC 23 February 2012 report Retrieved 2012-07-08
  26. ^ Department for Work and Pensions: Research, analysis and statistics
  27. ^ Department for Works and Pensions - newsroom:20 January 2012 Retrieved 9 July 2012
  28. ^ Scotland Act 1998, Schedule 5, Heads F&H
  29. ^ Northern Ireland Act 1998, Part VIII, Social security, child support and pensions
  30. ^ "DWP uses fake claimants in benefit sanctions leaflet". Dial2Donate. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ 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. 

External links

  • Official website
  • DWP YouTube channel
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