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United Kingdom

Pensioner poverty fall by two-thirds in the last 20 years to reach a record low

The number of pensioners who live below the poverty line has shrunk by two-thirds in just 20 years, according to a think-tank report.

It claims that poverty levels among the post-war baby boomer generation are ‘the lowest on record’ – thanks to high incomes, decades of surging house prices and extra welfare benefits.

The Resolution Foundation, a poverty pressure group, said measures of how people buy necessities show deprivation has been falling for all age groups since the recession began to ease in 2012.

But it said poverty among younger people is growing and they may be living at hardship levels despite having jobs.

The Resolution Foundation, a poverty pressure group, said measures of how people buy necessities show deprivation has been falling for all age groups since the recession began to ease in 2012 (file image)

Others warn pensioner prosperity is likely to fall in the future once the effect of generous defined benefit pension schemes – which have now all but disappeared from the private sector – is no longer felt.

The report considered ‘relative poverty’, which says someone is poor if their income is below 60 per cent of the average.

It said nearly half of the generation born between 1911 and 1925 lived in relative poverty when they reached their 70s.

Others warn pensioner prosperity is likely to fall in the future once the effect of generous defined benefit pension schemes – which have now all but disappeared from the private sector – is no longer felt (file image)

By the late 1990s, however, pensioner poverty began to decline. And 15 per cent of people born after the war were living in poverty in their 70s – compared to 45 per cent of the older generation.

Fahmida Rahman, a researcher at the Resolution Foundation, said: ‘A combination of economic tailwinds and policy success has since helped to reduce pensioner poverty by two-thirds for the baby boomers entering retirement today. 

'But while poverty risks are down for pensioners, they are rising for younger working-age people and their children.’ 

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