to think the poorest pensioners in the UK aren't actually that poor

(297 Posts)
twistedsista Tue 17-Jun-14 20:58:19

The minimum amount a pensioner will get at the moment if they have made no provisions is 7714.2 pa tax free + free bus / train (depending on areas) + winter fuel allowances + warm home discount + free perscriptins + consesionry prices for many things etc and most bought homes when they were reasonable so they have minimal housing costs.

Compare this to a single person on nmw who could be paying 25 a week on bus travel, 130 a week on rent with no hope of buying. they have to pay tax and if they are under 45 they will never get the benefits that they are paying for pensionrs to have at the moment.

I'm not being ageist, just looking at the sums

Sleepyhoglet Tue 17-Jun-14 21:01:25

Yes, and? I know some pensioners are still for to work but those over 75 can work. They still need to eat etc. Perhaps the free bus could be means tested though

arethereanyleftatall Tue 17-Jun-14 21:05:46

Yanbu. My grandmother says she's never been so rich in her life. (Sahm to 8 children previously). My mother does not need free bus passes nor prescriptions etc but she cannot see that perhaps she shouldn't accept them.

Fram Tue 17-Jun-14 21:06:51

YABU and goady.

£130p.w rent is £6,760 p.a- that doesn't leave much from £7,714.20 to actually live on, does it? Plenty of pensioners rent!

Fram Tue 17-Jun-14 21:07:53

And anyone on £7714 pa doesn't pay tax, so not sure what your argument there is.

sweetlilacsinspring Tue 17-Jun-14 21:09:29

I recently started doing care work, and it's actually frightened me the extent of the poverty some people, especially the elderly, do actually live in, it's awful.

ilovesooty Tue 17-Jun-14 21:10:06

I imagine the poorest pensioners don't own their own properties.

Sleepyhoglet Tue 17-Jun-14 21:10:45

I should have proof read my post. Pensioners can't work so rely on that income

Fram Tue 17-Jun-14 21:12:14

Pensioners can and do work- I know plenty that have to in order to heat their homes.

sweetlilacsinspring Tue 17-Jun-14 21:14:06

They don't ilovesooty and some of them have to live in awful places sad

Anotheronebitthedust Tue 17-Jun-14 21:15:35

I read an article recently that said that for the first time, on average retired pensioners are better off now than working people in their 20s. I'll try and find it now.

Of course it is a generalisation, but tbh I'm not surprised - if these pensioners either owned their own homes (no mortgage) or got substantial hb then that's 500-800 p/m rent or mortgage saved straight away, plus all the costs associated with working (travel, parking, childcare, etc), plus I would assume less general outgoings (I could be wrong here, my gran for example has an amazing social life!). Also don't have to pay back uni fees, but could have quite substantial savings, particularly if they bought at a good time and downsized.

Basically far less outgoings, but with income (pension, particularly if they have worked), is quite likely to be equal to/even more, a full time worker on NMW (about 12-13 grand atm I think?).

dawndonnaagain Tue 17-Jun-14 21:15:35

You mentioned the poorest pensioners, so they would be the ones still in a position where they needed to be paying rent.
£148.00 per week, with a rent contribution is not a huge amount. By the time you have taken off a council tax contribution, gas, electricity, television licence, water, food it doesn't leave a great deal and trust me, £200 does not a whole, cold winter cover. If it were such a fabulous amount how is it that every time we have a particularly harsh winter we lose more pensioners to hypothermia than any of the Scandanavian countries?

Iseenyou Tue 17-Jun-14 21:16:59

Where do pensioners get free train travel - haven't heard of this?

You are right that nmw is very low pay, but i dont think it follows that a pensioner is not poor on the sums you mention.

sweetlilacsinspring Tue 17-Jun-14 21:18:03

I think they sort of do (get free train travel) my dad did but only within his county.

SaucyJack Tue 17-Jun-14 21:18:49

Even if they are renting, pensioners get more housing benefit than anyone else as they are exempt from the bedroom tax. The HB will be on top of their pension, plus additional council tax benefit.

Fram Tue 17-Jun-14 21:21:23

IseenYou- West Midlands offer free train travel (within WMids) to over 65s

Some older people I visit have lovely big three bedroom houses, nice areas, near the Underground etc. Until you go int the house and find they are living in one room.
Bed, commode, TV , all in one room, They can only heat this one room.
Goodness knows what's going on upstairs, they haven't been there for months, years.

napoleonsnose Tue 17-Jun-14 21:24:30

YABU. £7714.2 works out at just under £645 a month. By the time you take off Council Tax, water, gas, electricity, car expenses (if they have one) and food, most pensioners are hardly rolling in it. My own DM (nearly 72) despite having no mortgage, a very small occupational pension from my late DF and her state pension still works 15 hours a week just to make life a bit more comfortable.

aquehoraabren Tue 17-Jun-14 21:32:22

The current crop of pensioners are the best of in history and are better off than generation x, y and onwards will be at the same age. So in that respect you have a point.

Iseenyou Tue 17-Jun-14 21:32:23

Thats interesting about train travel, i hadn't heard of it - free bus travel obviously i'd heard of!
I think if you owned your own house it would be difficult to keep it repaired and maintained over more than a few hears on these sums - even gutter clearing, painting outside when wondow frames need it and so on would quickly eat into this income.
Nmw is very low, so it stands to reason that even the lowest income pensioner looks not that much worse off!

Andrewofgg Tue 17-Jun-14 21:40:24

Free bus pass to be means-tested?

I'm 62 and live and work in London. Not rich, not on the breadline either.

I have paid fares and taxes (rates, poll-tax, council tax) all my working live for previous cadres of sixties to have free travel without a means test. I have my Boris card and will soon have my Freedom Pass and so I should because it's my turn now. Hands off.

Iseenyou Tue 17-Jun-14 21:41:03

We dont really know how well off todays 20 and 30 yr olds will be when they retire though - there may be huge productivity gains in the next 30-40 yrs which will enable them to be better off, housing costs may fall (at least in real terms) as the under occupied houses owned by current pensioners become available and so on.
Thinking back to 40 yrs ago the uk is so much richer in terms of gdp now (real growth, not just inflation) - why shouldn't that rate of increase continue over the next 40 years? (or is gdp really so much higher? I read a really interesting post here once suggesting a lot of the increase is a bit of an optical illusion because paid-for childcare shows up as gdp whereas childcare by a parent does not)

Iseenyou Tue 17-Jun-14 21:44:15

Added to which andrew, if your bus pass is means tested, another disincentive to save arises! Yet saving is supposed to be something to be encouraged.
Disincentive effects of means testing are rarely discussed - it would be interesting to know if there is any research on them.

aquehoraabren Tue 17-Jun-14 21:49:36

Well if the current legislation stands todays 20 and 30 year olds won't be retiring until they're in their 70s let alone collecting freebies from age 60 like the current bunch. There has always been an underlying assumption that things will always get better for younger people yet any 20-30 year old who's been paying attention will notice that it's not really happened for them, housing, pensions, cost of education all far worse, not to mention the ongoing racking up of huge amounts of national debt (mostly used to fund unsustainable pensioner benefits) that will need paying off over the next few decades.

And then you have all the off-balance sheet stuff like hospitals and schools built on hugely expensive PFI contracts, and unfunded public sector pension schemes for people who are likely to live and keep collecting them well into their 80s.

wafflyversatile Tue 17-Jun-14 21:51:34

Why not approach it from the pov that other people are too poor rather than pensioners aren't poor enough?

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