In response to the Fabian Society report 'When I’m 64: a strategy to tackle poverty before state pension age', Joanna Elson CBE, Chief Executive of Independent Age, said:

“With the next State Pension age rise coming into effect in two years’ time, this important report shows that without urgent action, there is a real risk of a huge surge in pensioner poverty. Our own polling with YouGov found that 64% of respondents aged over 50, who are not yet retired, are worried about their financial situation in retirement. 

“There are already around 2 million older people living in poverty. In reality, this means people in later life are skipping meals, living in cold, damp homes and missing out on social interaction as many can’t even afford to meet a friend for a cup of tea. It’s a bleak picture, and not one that any of us would wish for as we age. 

“It’s essential to improve the lives of older people already living in financial hardship and instil confidence in those approaching retirement.

“There are many reasons why someone may not be able to work until they reach the State Pension age, including caring responsibilities and ill health, yet there is a low level of financial  support available for those in this situation. Innovative solutions are needed, for example earlier access to pensioner benefits for people facing significant and long-term barriers to work in later life, would help reduce this inequality. 

“It’s also essential to ensure that everyone receives the money they are already entitled to. Currently, a shocking £1.8 billion in means-tested benefits isn’t reaching people aged between 60 and 65 who are eligible. If half of these people received this support, it would lift 92,000 people out of poverty. The UK Government must increase benefit uptake as a priority. 

“More needs to be done to address this so that no one experiences financial insecurity in later life.”

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Notes to editor

For media enquiries please contact

Amy Dodge, Media Communications Manager at Independent Age,  07732 691466

Out of hours: 07545 209589

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