‘Is it fair?’ Pensioner ‘millionaires’ rise to 3 million – triple lock increase questioned
Jonathan Ashworth calls for return of pension triple lock
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New analysis of Government data has shown the rising number of wealthy over 65s throughout the UK. In 2008/2010, there were 846,000 over 65s recorded as living in households with over £1million in housing and pension assets.
However, just a decade on, and this picture has drastically transformed.
Now, there are a total of 3,137,000 over 65s who live in millionaire households.
According to analysis undertaken by the Intergenerational Foundation, the number has more than tripled, nearly quadrupling.
The IF looked at the latest data released by the Office for National Statistics’ Wealth and Assets Survey.
Angus Hanton, co-founder of IF, analysed the implications of the latest data.
He argued rising pensioner millionaires could bring the idea of the triple lock into question.
Mr Hanton said: “These figures not only demonstrate just how much housing and pension wealth has been amassed by older generations but also lay bare the stark intergenerational wealth divide opening up between the generations.
“After a decade of above-inflation increases in the state pension thanks to the triple lock, this analysis raises the question as to whether a 10 percent increase in the state pension is the fairest way to deal with poverty in Great Britain.”
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The Foundation has instead pointed towards potentially increasing Pension Credit for low income older people.
Pension Credit is a payment designed to top up weekly income to £182.60 for single people, and £278.70 for couples.
It also serves as a “gateway” to other forms of support, including a free TV licence for over 75s, housing support and help with healthcare costs.
Some may even get extra help if they are a carer, severely disabled or responsible for a child or young person.
The Foundation has argued this measure would be “intergenerational fairer” than a state pension increase across the board.
It states such action would allow the Government to redirect funds to those most in need, including the working age poor, and children who are growing up in poverty.
Pension Credit can be received by individuals even if they have other income, savings or own their own home.
It is totally separate from state pension payments.
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Applications can be started up to four months before a person reaches state pension age.
Individuals can apply any time after they reach state pension age but their application can only be backdated by three months.
This means they can get up to three months of Pension Credit in their first payment if they were eligible during that time.
A Government spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk: “Pension Credit take-up is now at its highest level since 2010, and the full yearly amount of the basic state pension is now over £2,300 higher than it was in 2010, with 400,000 fewer pensioners in absolute poverty after housing costs in 2020/21 than in 2009/10.
“We are committed to ensuring pensioners receive all the benefits to which they are entitled and we continue to work with stakeholders to increase awareness of Pension Credit and the wide range of other benefits it can provide; including, Warm Home Discount, Housing Benefit and Council Tax reduction schemes, as well as a free TV licence for those over 75.”
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