FUNDERS AND SUPPORTERS: THANK YOU!
IN THE PRESS
Refugees’ schools project
Pensioners fact sheet
SOME FACTS ABOUT WOMEN AND MEN PENSIONERS IN THE UK
facts sheet was first circulated in 2009 at the performance of the play
‘A Century of Pensioners’ Struggle’ by Prisca Allen at the Crossroads
Women's Centre, with members of the
Greater London Pensioners' Association (GLPA), to celebrate the
centenary of the state pension.
There are 11.7 million pensioners in
of whom the majority are women.
Poverty is increasing
2007/08 two and a half million pensioners, one in four of pensioners,
live below the official poverty line. Means-tested benefits fail to
reach 1.8m pensioners who are eligible.
· Two thirds of pensioners in poverty are women. Up to five million
women pensioners failed to get a full state pension because they spent
years raising children, caring for relatives or working part-time, or
counted on their husbands’. 30% of women compared to 85% of men collect
a full pension.
· The full state pension is £95.25 a week, around £50 a week below the
official poverty level of £151. The reduced rate pension, mainly
received by women, is £57.05.
· The government acknowledged: “People from ethnic minorities are at
higher risk of pensioner poverty” and “are over-represented amongst
those collecting the poorest pensions in Britain.” (former Pensions
Minister, Ian McCartney.)
· The number of pensioners in prison increased by over a third between
2004 and 2008: 34% more men and 40% more women.
· Paying a basic state pension to all over State Pension age regardless
of their contribution record would cost £4.2 billion. This is the amount
the UK spends on the war in Afghanistan each year.
Paying the price of care or no care.
the past eleven years 702,000 older people have had to sell their homes
or cut into their hard earned life savings to pay for the cost of their
· In 2006, people over 65 contributed £380m to the support they receive
to stay in their own homes. 75,000 pensioners are paying for nursing
care which could and should be provided free under the NHS.
· Women pensioners are the majority of people depending on homecare.
“Thousands go without food and heating to pay the soaring costs of
homecare services . . .” and thousands give up care they need.
Eating or Heating
the winter of 2006/2007 winter, 23,900 pensioners died from cold related
illnesses in England and Wales alone.
· One in three pensioner households spend more than 10% of their income
on fuel bills. High bills (now £924 on average compared to £572 in
2003), pushed a further 750,000 pensioners into ‘fuel poverty’, i.e.
unable to heat their homes.
Sources: Greater London Pensioners Association
newsletter, February 2009; National Pensioners Convention website, April
2009; Department of Work and Pensions; "Charging Into Poverty" ,
Coalition on Charging report 2008; BBC on line Thursday, 30 January,
2003; The Runnymede’s Response to Security in Retirement, 2006; The
Daily Telegraph, 13 August 2008, quoting report by Anne Owers, HM Chief
Inspector of Prisons.
Facts compiled by Women in Dialogue, Crossroads Women’s Centre.
30 May 2009