John Palmer Director of Influencing and Engagement, responds to today’s ONS earnings figure and what it means for older people living in financial hardship:
“Today’s earning figures will be significant for the millions of older people facing financial hardship who rely on their State Pension for most or even all of their income. This is a larger proportion of people in later life than people may assume, with 20% of single pensioners and 13% of all pensioners not having an additional source of income outside of the State Pension and benefits.
“It’s a damaging misconception that everyone is financially well off as they move into older age, living in mortgage free homes and going on annual cruise trips. This couldn’t be further from the truth for the 2.1 million older people living in poverty, and the one million more hovering on the edge.
“There has been a lot of debate about the Triple Lock, and it’s not a perfect long-term solution. But for the millions of older people living in financial hardship, it is vital in protecting the value of their often dangerously low income, helping them cope with the elevated cost of living and getting them through another scary winter. Increasing the State Pension also aids future generations, scrapping it would increase the amount working aged people need to save to avoid poverty when they enter retirement.
“To stop the annual stress and uncertainty over this issue and give long-term assurance to people planning for retirement, there should be a cross-party review to agree on the income everyone should have in later life to avoid poverty and what Government can do to make sure everyone receives this. Until then, maintaining the Triple Lock will ensure that the millions of people in financial hardship in later life receive an income up lift to enable them to keep up with rising costs.”