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Pensions and pensioners' incomes: Social Indicators page

Published Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A summary of trends in pensioners' incomes.

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Over the decade to 2014/15, average net pensioner income grew by 19% in real (RPI-adjusted) terms, compared to a 10% real fall in average full-time earnings over the same period.

The distribution of pensioners’ incomes became wider during the '80s and early '90s as incomes rose more quickly for better-off pensioners. In the last 10 years growth has been more evenly spread, except for the poorest pensioners where incomes have grown more slowly than those with average and above average incomes.

26% of pensioner households got means-tested benefits in 2014/15 - this proportion having fallen steadily from a high of 39% in 1995/96. 17% of pensioner households have income from earnings, up from 11% 20 years earlier.

Income sources of rich and poor pensioners 2012-15 (14/15 prices)






In recent years the value of the basic state pension has risen in relation to average earnings, after a long period of relative decline.  In April 2016, the basic state pension was replaced by the new single tier pension for new claimants, at a full rate of £155.65 pw.

Commons Briefing papers SN02657

Author: Richard Keen

Topics: Incomes and poverty, Pensions

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