For the first time, pensioners are better off than working households


Show me the money: pensioners have more disposable income than working households (Source: Getty)

We all knew older generations are increasingly better off than their younger counterparts - but now a new study has found recent retirees are actually living on more than working households.

Incomes across older generations have risen so fast, the average pensioner household now makes £20 a week more than the average working-age household. In 2001, pensioners were making £70 less - meaning the average pensioner's income has risen 30 per cent in the intervening years.

The report, by the Resolution Foundation, found the growth has been driven by younger pensioners, who are more likely to still be in work, own a home and have access to a hefty pension pot than their younger cohorts.

According to the study, the occupational pensions are the biggest source of rising incomes, with the typical pensioner having access to more than £5,000 of annual occupational pension. 

However, it also found in one in five pensioner households, at least one person is still in work - up from one in eight in 2001.

In fact, the top fifth of pensioner households account for 74 per cent of all employment income, 66 per cent of investment income and 52 per cent of occupational pension income.

Benefits have also pushed up incomes by eight per cent - while home ownership has pushed down housing costs, with 73 per cent of pensioners now owning their own home, up from 64 per cent in 2001. 

For those heading towards the end of their careers in the future, though, things might not be so sweet, the report warned. 

"Future generations of pensioners cannot assume that they will benefit from further gains from these income sources, particularly with home ownership falling and millennials seeing no generational income growth from their predecessors."

"We can’t assume young people today will be able to draw upon the kind of wealth that recent pensioners have accumulated, given the recent fall in home ownership and decline in generous defined benefit schemes," added Adam Corlett, economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation. 

This is part of a wider trend of wealth moving up the age scale: last month a study found millennials earn 20 per cent less than their parents did at the same age, despite being better educated. 

Meanwhile, a report last year found baby boomers are more confident about their retirement than millennials, with 63 per cent saying they feel comfortable about their retirement, compared with 36 per cent of 35-44 year-olds. 

Read more: With £9.2bn cashed in, have pension freedoms been an unequivocal success?

Tags: Pensions