Pensions - Articles - Disposable income grows slower for retired households

Disposable income grows slower for retired households than non-retired households over the past year, with State support making crucial difference for the poorest pensioners

 Figures released today by the ONS question the notion that pensioner households have been winning out in recent years, with disposable income growing far slower for this demographic compared to non-retired households. Between Financial Year End (FYE) 2016 and FYE 2017, the growth in median disposable incomes for non-retired households was 3.5%, almost three times the 1.2% experienced by retired households.

 Moreover, the poorest retired households remain heavily reliant on State support with the lowest quintile receiving 77% of their disposable income from cash benefits, compared to an average of 45% for all retired households. This is despite people in the quintile receiving significantly less income from the State than others; they receive an average of just over £8,000 a year from cash benefits compared to more than £11,500 than people in the fourth quintile get.
 This is why the poor take-up of State benefits, other than the State Pension, is such a concern. According to data from Just Group, 4 in 10 pensioner home owner households eligible for benefits do not claim any additional State support and a further 2 in 10 are not receiving their full entitlement. The average loss of income for each household missing out stands at £1,013 a year, while the largest amount of benefit lost was £7,142 a year for a 64 year-old in Norfolk.
 Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, commented: 
 “Today’s figures show that the oft-painted rosy picture of life for retired households is not consistent with reality. Retired households have seen their median disposable income grow at a far slower rate than non-retired households while the poorest retired households are still heavily reliant on the State.
 “For these people, every extra pound of income counts, yet our research among home owner pensioner households indicates that they are missing out on thousands of pounds each year – money that would make a massive difference to people’s lives.”

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