State pension payments leave older Britons up to £80 short a week to cover rising costs

State pension payments leave older Britons up to £80 short a week to cover rising costs

British public share opinion on the state pension triple lock

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 14/03/2024

- 00:01

Updated: 14/03/2024

- 09:53

Pensioners are unable to make ends meet due to the impact of the cost of living crisis

State pensioners are up to £80 short a week of the income needed to living the minimum socially accepted standard of living, a new report has found.

The Centre for Ageing Better has found this shortfall in retirement income quadrupled since the beginning of the cost of living crisis for single pensioners, and doubled for couples.

Based on the organisation’s State of Ageing report, single pensioners are £50 short a week to cover basic essentials, while couples are £80 short.

Nearly one in five pensioners in the UK were found to be living in relative poverty before last week’s Spring Budget announcement.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt came under fire for failing to announce any major changes to support on offer for pensioners.

However, the Government has reiterated its commitment to the triple lock which determines the annual payment rate hike for state pensions.

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Older women looking at finances

Older Britons are struggling during the cost of living crisis


Despite this, the Centre for Ageing Better are noting that older Britons are still struggling to cope with the rise in the cost of living.

Households have been forced to contend with inflation-hiked prices for goods and services, as well as rising energy bills, over the last year.

Analysis of the organisation’s Financial Fairness Tracker Survey found that two in five pensioners are eating less than they should.

Some 47 per cent of those polled have avoided going to the dentist to save money, while nearly three-quarters have reduced using their cooker.

Furthermore, more than one in two pensioners are not seeing family and friends as often due to costs, while 61 per cent have cut the number of showers and baths they take.

Dr Carole Easton OBE, the chief executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, described pensioner as the “biggest losers” from Hunt’s Spring Budget

She explained: “We desperately needed a Budget that offered a helping hand to the very poorest pensioners, not pushing them deeper into financial trouble.

“The Government have said they want this country to be the best place to grow old in.

“But we currently have the worst state pension offering among OECD countries while one million of the poorest pensioners have no private or workplace pension. Clearly we have an awfully long way still to go.”

Outside of pensioners, Easton noted that those preparing for retirement are unable to save adequately enough for life post work.

“The cost of living crisis has clearly been a very difficult time for many of our nation’s pensioners who are being forced to cut back on even the basic essentials of life,” the retirement expert added:

“But it is also impacting the ability of workers to save and to contribute to a pension, creating the substantial risk of even greater pensioner poverty in the near future.


Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt is under fire for failing to announce further support for pensioners in his Spring Budget


“The highest poverty rate among adults in this country is now among adults aged 60 and over who are heading towards retirement which indicates the worst may yet be to come.”

Following its report, the Centre for Ageing Better is calling for the establishment of an independent Commissioner for Older People and Ageing to be created.

This individual would champion the rights of older people and ensure policymaking considers the needs of England's ageing population.

As well as this, the organisation is urging the Government to halt proposals to raise the state pension age to make sure any hikes will not further disenfranchise older people.

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