You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

One in five female pensioners live in poverty

0
Written by:
20/09/2021
One in five – or 1.25 million – female pensioners in the UK are living in poverty, a study reveals.

The report by Age UK shows the number of women living below the breadline has increased by around 260,000 since 2012-13.

That’s despite the number of female pensioners in Britain declining by 800,000 due to the increase in women’s state pension age during this time.

Good progress made in reducing pensioner poverty up to 2010 is now rapidly being reversed, according to the report.

Its publication comes on the day ministers debate the temporary suspension of the triple lock.

The triple lock is the mechanism used to calculate increases to the state pension each year.

It guarantees the basic state pension, which is the bedrock of many pensioners’ retirement income, rises by whichever is highest out of average earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent.

However, the government has scrapped the triple lock this year as earnings have risen by around 8 per cent due to distortions caused by the Covid 19 pandemic.

The report highlights that single female pensioners (27 per cent) are at much higher risk of being in poverty than single men (23 per cent) and pensioner couples (13 per cent).

Pensioners from black and Asian communities are around twice as likely to be living in poverty as white pensioners. Some 33 per cent of Asian pensioners and 30 per cent of black pensioners live below the breadline compared to 16 per cent of white pensioners.

Pensioners who rent their homes (38 per cent) are also much more likely to be in poverty than those who own their home outright (14 per cent).

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “I think many will be shocked to see how many women pensioners are now living in poverty – 1.25 million, equivalent to one in five – a big cause for concern.

“It’s important to recognise too just how much greater the risk of poverty in later life is for women who are black or Asian, compared to their white peers. The fact that as many as one in three are living below the breadline demonstrates a level of structural inequality in our society, linked to race, that should be a wake-up call for both national and local policymakers.

“It is essential that the Government’s levelling-up agenda covers the issues facing older women. Stabilising social care and increasing both the quantity and quality of it on offer would make a big difference to many on low incomes. They are unlikely to gain from the Prime Minister’s proposed cap on catastrophic care costs because of having few if any assets to protect.

“When it comes to helping these older women to get the care and support they need the ball is very much in the Chancellor’s court: he has to give councils a generous settlement for care in his forthcoming Spending Review or these older women will be even further disadvantaged.

“Our new analysis also shows how vital it is that the triple lock is reactivated again in 2023. There may have been reason to suspend it for one year, because of the distortions caused by the pandemic, but if we’re to have any hope of reducing the level of pensioner poverty in our society the triple lock must come back into force again in 12 months time.”

 

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Your right to a refund if travel is affected by train strikes

There have been a wave of train strikes in the past six months, and the fresh round of walkouts take place tod...

Could you save money with a social broadband tariff?

Two-thirds of low-income households are unaware they could be saving on broadband, according to Uswitch.

How to help others and donate to food banks this winter

This winter is expected to be the most challenging yet for the food bank network as soaring costs push more pe...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week