Age UK say nearly 3million pensioners struggle with bills

  • Charity Age UK surveyed more than 1,300 people over the age of 65 on finances
  • It found about £3.5 billion in financial help is going unclaimed every year
  • Director Caroline Abrahams says it’s far from ‘job done’ on pensioner poverty 

Almost one in four people over the age of 65 are struggling financially, showing there is no end to ‘pensioner poverty’, a new report claims.

Age UK said despite so many older people having money problems, around £3.5 billion in financial help was going unclaimed every year in benefits, including help with council tax.

A survey of more than 1,300 people over the age of 65 for the charity found that one in four found life a struggle financially.

The Department of Work and Pensions say poverty in over-65s is close to historically low levels as charity Age UK found one in four pensioners find life a struggle financially

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: ‘Today we are at risk as a society of blithely assuming that every older person is comfortably off, but these new figures show that to be way off the mark.

‘In fact the most recent Age UK research suggests that one in four are finding it a struggle to manage, adding up to approaching three million pensioners in all.

‘With so many older people worried about being hard up it is certainly not ‘job done’ when it comes to ending pensioner poverty.

‘Trying to make ends meet on a low income is a big challenge at any age, but if you are an older person living on your own who is praying your ageing television somehow keeps going, because you know there is no way you’ll ever be able to afford to replace it, life becomes especially grim.’

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: ‘By introducing the triple lock and protecting the poorest through Pension Credit, we have reduced pensioner poverty close to historically low levels, lifting the incomes of millions of older people.

‘Other support, such as winter fuel payments, should give older people the assurance that they can turn up their heating when they need to, without the fear of an unaffordable bill.’