State pensioners living on less than £100 per week – boost retirement

Pensions triple-lock ‘right thing to do’ says Altmann

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Of this group getting lower than £100 per week, 1.4 million of these people affected are women. Around the same time in 2022, around 2 million people received less than £100 per week with 1.57 million being women. This latest breakdown of state pension statistics comes from the DWP’s benefit statistics for November 2022.

Despite this, the average amount people are receiving in retirement has increased in recent years.

Overall, the mean weekly amount of new state pension received by men and women has gone up to £175.73 and £170.30, respectively.

Comparatively, women on the basic state pension get a mean weekly amount of £151.74 while men receive £178.55.

There are many options available for people approaching retirement age in regard to getting a payment boost.

Examples include those approaching retirement age as women claiming child benefit if they have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time.

This will give claimants vital National Insurance credits which will go towards someone’s state pension.

Another option is applying for specified adult childcare credit which would qualify someone for National Insurance credits.

Furthermore, people can purchase voluntary class 3 National Insurance contributions.

Helen Morrissey, a senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, shared why so many state pensioners are living on less than £100 weekly.

Ms Morrisey explained: “The new state pension has done much to boost the financial resilience of women in retirement and close the gap with men.

“This is great news but the comparison between what women receive on the new and basic rate pension systems is stark – on average more than £18 per week.

“We also forget that many people do not receive anywhere near the full amount of state pension and there are currently 1.8m people receiving less than £100 per week.

“Again, the vast majority of these are women who have accrued large gaps in their National Insurance contribution history due to time taken away from the workforce to care for family.

“Many of these people may well have other sources of income to see them through retirement but for those who don’t life can be a real financial struggle.”

The retirement expert noted that the older people are still waiting for news regarding the triple lock, which could see pensioners receive a sizable increase if it comes back.

She added: “We are currently awaiting news as to whether the government will reinstate the triple lock after suspending it last year.

“If it returns, then pensioners will be in line for a 10.1 percent boost to their state pension next year – a move that will be welcomed by many though debate continues to rage as to whether the triple lock is the best way to approach state pension increases long-term.”

In regarding to boosting payments for state pensioners, Ms Morrisey highlighted the usefulness of other benefits.

The analyst said: “Another way pensioners on low income can boost their retirement income is to claim Pension Credit – this is a really useful benefit that not only boosts your income but acts as a gateway benefit to other help which can really boost your income.

“However, it remains hugely underclaimed due to misunderstandings as to who qualifies – for instance many people do not think you can get it if you own your own home.

“If you think your or a loved one may qualify for Pension Credit it is well worth checking with DWP to see if you can claim.”

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