2020 update: Our 2019 report "Credit where it's due: Ending the £3.5 billion Pension Credit scandal" provides an up-to-date picture of Pension Credit and our calls to reform the system.
This report provides an analysis of the financial circumstances of older people with a focus on those people aged 75 and over. The report looks at different groups of older people and identifies those groups at most risk of living on low incomes.
Findings – The incomes of older people aged 75 and over
- Older pensioners’ incomes are on average £59 a week lower than younger pensioners, and £112 a week lower than working age adults – this equates to an annual income almost £6,000 lower than a working age adult.
- A fifth of older people aged 75 and over are living below the poverty line – this includes a quarter of all single women aged 75 and over.
- Older people aged 75 and over are twice as likely as younger groups to have lived in poverty for the past four years.
Findings - Who is at increased risk of living on a low income?
Among older people aged 75 and over the following groups are more likely to be overstretched financially:
- Single people
Life on a low income for older people can bring with it significant challenges. For example, paying for transport due to limited mobility, house maintenance, keeping your house warm and meeting additional health costs.
- The government, and other key agencies, must re-energise their efforts to promote the take-up of Pension Credit and other benefits to the groups of older people most at risk of living in poverty – in particular single older people, older women and older renters.
- The government should introduce a ‘triple lock’ on Pension Credit to guarantee that recipients of the ‘old’ State Pension do not suffer a relative decline in their state income.
- The government should ensure that lower income pensioners continue to receive vital universal benefits like the Winter Fuel Payment and the free bus pass.
- The government should guarantee that proposed reforms to Attendance Allowance will not introduce a means test, and will not result in reduced incomes for older people.