1.9 million below poverty line
Last year, the number of pensioners living below the poverty line rose to 1.9 million. Government figures have also shown that among over 65s:
- Over a million would be unable to meet an unexpected expense of £200
- Almost a million would be unable to replace a cooker if it broke down
- Over 700,000 are unable to keep their homes damp free
- More than half a million are unable to keep their homes adequately warm
Research shows that the older you are, the more likely you are to be in financial difficulty. 19% of 80 to 84 year olds and 21% of those aged 85+ are in poverty – compared to only 13% of 65-69 year olds.
Couples were more likely to be financially secure, with 13% in poverty, compared to 20% of single pensioners. Lastly, renters are particularly at risk – especially those renting privately, of which 33% are in poverty.
No ‘job done’ with ending pensioner poverty
Although these figures might be surprising, they show that we shouldn’t ignore the scale of pensioner poverty in the UK, as Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK explained:
‘Today we are at risk as a society of blithely assuming that every older person is comfortably off, but these new figures show that to be way off the mark. In fact the most recent Age UK research suggests that one in four are finding it a struggle to manage, adding up to approaching three million pensioners in all.
‘With so many older people worried about being hard up it is certainly not ‘job done’ when it comes to ending pensioner poverty.’