Claire Trott, Divisional Director – Retirement and Holistic Planning, St. James’s Place comments on DWP’s Pensioners’ Incomes Series statistics, released today:
“You can see from the figures that the gender pension gap for single people has remained significant and this has been the case since the series data was published in 1995, although it has fluctuated it hasn’t shown any signs of meaningfully reducing over these years. On top of this, 60% of income among single female pensioners was from benefit income. This again shows the continued difference in the way in which males and females benefit from pension savings in their lifetime. We need to do more to bring this closer together, both through education in savings from an early age, pension savings equality and making sure that on divorce pensions are taken into account in all cases and not ignored.”
“Overall pensioner income has risen again in the data series. This may be out of choice, but it may also be partly attributable to the above inflation increases seen in recent years on state pensions. We won’t of course see that this year, with the triple lock being watered down to the double lock due to the high average earnings figures that would have needed to be used, and it is also likely that we will only see inflationary increases when the triple lock is reinstated due to how high this will likely be. That said, given the delay in the application of uprating both personal and state pensions then the pinch on pensioners will continue, with many more opting to continue working to support themselves.
“Further pressure will be felt by single pensioners, with the data showing they are more reliant on state benefits and their income is less than half that of couples in the same cohorts.”