Almost 1 million older pensioners live in poverty, charity warns

16 May 16

Pensioners aged over 75 are thousands of pounds a year worse off than both their younger ‘baby boomer’ counterparts and working age adults, according to the charity Independent Age.

Investigating the financial circumstances of older pensioners, the group said their findings cast doubt on sweeping claims about ‘intergenerational unfairness.’

Its report The Overlooked Over-75s found the average income of those aged over 75 was £59 a week less than that of younger pensioners and £112 a week less than working age adults.

Some 20% of older pensioners lived in poverty – equivalent to 950,000 people – the poverty threshold for a single pensioner being £182 a week.

Older pensioners were also less likely to claim Pension Credit, a benefit designed to boost the income of the poorest pensioners, with some 75% of this group entitled to claim but not doing so either from reluctance to seek help or being unaware of the benefit.

Independent Age said Pension Credit should be subject to the ‘triple lock’ – similar to state pensions – to help this age group.

Independent Age chief executive Janet Morrison said: “These findings show how misleading it is to treat all 11.8 million pensioners in this country as one group.

“It would be foolish to assume that inequality simply ceases to exist at retirement age, but that is exactly what some of the recent rhetoric around ‘intergenerational unfairness’ does.”

She added: “There is a real risk that this generation will be forgotten and left to suffer in silence.”

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