Official figures show disparity in pensioner incomes

23 April 2018

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Our recent analysis of HMRC figures has highlighted shocking disparities in pension incomes throughout the UK.

Our recent analysis of HMRC figures has highlighted shocking disparities in pension incomes throughout the UK.  

HMRC’s Personal Incomes Statistics 2015-16 show that while the top ten local authorities for pension income are all in London or the South East, the situation becomes more mixed further down the list with three of the bottom ten local authorities also being in London and the South East.

A North/South divide?

While the average income for London based pensioners is £18,400 per year this is bolstered by areas such as the City of London where mean pension incomes are £37,900, Westminster (£29,500) and Kensington and Chelsea (£26,700).

However, Barking and Dagenham came near the bottom of the list with a mean pension income of just £12,800. Only Stoke delivered a lower mean pension income in the UK with £12,300. Other South East boroughs near the bottom of the list were Southampton (£13,100) and Slough (£13,500).

The figures explode any idea of a North/South divide when it comes to pension income. The figures are based on the UK’s 31 million taxpayers, and include all forms of taxable pensions income.

This issue is not limited to England with Scotland and Wales also seeing large disparities. In Scotland average pension incomes range from £20,000 in Stirling to £13,900 in North Lanarkshire.  In Wales average pension incomes range from £18,700 in the Vale of Glamorgan down to £13,900 in Caerphilly.

Our view

Helen Morrissey, Personal Finance Specialist at Royal London said: “These figures show a shocking disparity in pension incomes with in some cases very prosperous pensioners living only a few miles down the road from those who are struggling.  The higher cost of living in areas such as London and the South East adds an extra burden to pensioners who are already under considerable pressure. ” 

She added: “Such figures demonstrate the importance of planning for the long term by saving into a pension, and drives home the importance of financial advice for all. While auto enrolment has made a good start we can build on this by encouraging your clients to make higher contributions, and engaging employers and their workforce in the importance of saving for the future.”

 Local AuthorityNation/regionPension income

1

City of London

London

37900

2

Westminster

London

29500

3

Kensington & Chelsea

London

26700

4

South Bucks

South East

26000

5

Elmbridge

South East

25900

6

Mole Valley

South East

25700

7

Camden

London

24000

8

Chiltern

South East

23300

9

Guildford

South East

23100

10=

Hart

South East

22600

10=

Waverley

South East

22600

 

 Local AuthorityNation/regionPension income (£ PA)

1

Stoke

West Midlands

12300

2

Barking and Dagenham

London

12800

3

Hull

Yorks and Humber

12900

4

Sandwell

West Midlands

13000

5

Southampton

South East

13100

6

Bolsover

East Midlands

13300

6=

Leicester

East Midlands

13300

8

Knowsley

North West

13500

8=

Slough

South East

13500

10

Sunderland

North East

13600

 

 


Source: HM Revenue and Customs, Personal Incomes Statistics 2015-16, March 2018

Last updated: 23 May 2018

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