British state pensioners have largest income drop of major world countries

Published:  6 Dec at 6 PM
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It’s no wonder British pensioners have been queuing up to leave the UK for warmer, cheaper climes, as their state stipends are far below those of any other major world country.

It’s official, Britain’s state pensioners are now at the bottom of the retirement league, with those unable to save for a private pension now undergoing serious hardship. Government reports invariably state the fact the elderly may have to rely on just the state pension, even if their wages over their working lives have only provided enough to support their weekly expenses due to regular hikes in the cost of living. It’s no surprise that ‘pound shops’, unheard of in the UK up until a few years ago, are now favourite shopping destinations for British pensioners.

Recent research shows pensioners in Denmark, Holland and even in Italy are far better off than their British equivalents, with the retirement income drop more severe than in other countries including Mexico,Japan and Poland. The measly UK state pension is just 29 per cent of average in-work earnings, with the average from a compilation of other countries standing at 63 per cent. Even when private pensions are included in the calculations, Britain still falls well behind the OECD average.

The OECD study is definitive, stating ‘those without additional sources of revenue are left with few resources, adding the UK government has persistently underfunded benefit workplace pension schemes. The result is that many over-65s will be forced to continue working till they drop rather than risk running out of funds.

Previously, a good number of UK state pensioners voted with their feet, selling their homes and ending up in Spain or other relatively inexpensive expat destinations, thus removing the need to beg the British authorities for financial help in their old age. Current poverty levels in the 75-plus group stand at 18.5 per cent, and are just over 10 per cent in the 66-75 age group – a sad reflection of British lawmakers’ lack of concern for the elderly.

The introduction of the new pension isn’t expected to help much and doesn’t affect current retirees. Should a hard Brexit be the result of the ailing negotiations, Britain can expect a reluctant influx of UK state pensioner returnees, many of whom may well be homeless and the majority of whom will only have their state pensions to rely on.
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