More pensioners face poverty

Worried old couple

More than a third of pensioners planning to retire this year, will live on incomes below the poverty line, according to new research from Prudential.

Using the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's accepted minimum income of £14,400 a year, Prudential calculates that 35% of retirees this year will have incomes below this threshold. It also reveals that 19% of would–be pensioners will receive just £10,000 a year.

Women will be worse hit with 40% receiving below £14,400, compared to 30% of men. More worrying still 26% of women will get below £10,000 a year compared to 13% of men.

Tough financial decisions

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development at Prudential says an increasing number of people "face tough financial decisions."

He says people should consider reviewing their finances with an adviser on an annual basis in the years immediately preceding retirement.

He adds: "Following the simple advice to start saving as much as you can as early as you can should help to secure the retirement income you want and need."

"Making voluntary national insurance contributions should also help to boost retirement income for people who have had breaks in national insurance payment during their working lives."

Prudential's research comes after news in last week's budget that the state retirement age will be increased to 66 by 2020 and that a flat rate state pension of £140 will eventually be introduced, although current pensioners won't benefit from these planned changes.

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With regard to the pensions, while I had my child I worked part time and paid the lower stamp, my colleague at work stayed at home for 10 years with her children and was allocated a full stamp, hence I am now approximately £30 per week worse off! I cannot make up the years where I paid the reduced stamp and I won't fall into the planned changes so won't benefit there, is this system justified in doing this??

We have seen out money dwindle - this is not our fault. We planned for retirment but Gordon Brown's big bust has seen the funds we had and the assets we had plunge, leaving us in a very bad situation.