50% of pensioners struggling with finances

Old couple look worried

Almost half of UK pensioners are struggling to make ends meet, with some being forced to cut down on food, new research has revealed.

Figures from Age UK, polling 1,258 people, show 47% of older people are "just getting by" while 11% say they are finding it difficult to cope.

Some 26% of pensioners said they were buying less food while 19% said they had cut down on heating during the winter.

These findings are backed up by a survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which shows many people over the age of 65 are finding themselves too poor to retire.

The ONS figures revealed almost a third of new jobs created in the past year went to pensioners, with the number of pensioners in employment rising from 113,000 to 885,000 in the last 12 months.

Age UK says despite just under half of all pensioners being entitled to pension credit – a top up for people on low incomes – a third of people don't claim it. This is because many pensioners are unaware of the help available.

The charity says the majority of people surveyed said that claiming pensioner benefits had improved their quality of life or helped them worry less about making ends meet.

Michelle Mitchell, Age UK's charity director, says: "At a time when so many people are struggling financially, it is unacceptable that vital benefits are failing to reach some of the poorest and most vulnerable older people in our society. This is money that could make a huge difference to people's quality of life."


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I am a State pensioner I receive £62.33 a week., my husband receives £130 a week. We both have huge debts because we cannot manage. We can not have a bath or shower because when we take the plug out the water pours through the kitchen ceiling. My husband is Arthritic and has had a knee replacement, he is 74yrs old. I am 68 yrs old and have Fibromyalgia, Diabetes and Coeliac disease. We do need help but can not afford it. I started work at 15yrs old and my husbands business went under in the seventies due to the three day working week, we have been struggling ever since. I was a nurse and I feel very shabbily treated as I was never out of work. Now I have Barclay Card ringing every whip-stitch over a debt of just £i,000 and I am £31. over my limit at Barclays Bank. I don't know what my husbands debts are he won't tell me! I am at the end of my tether frankly and would like to just walk of down the road to God knows where.