The DWP have published Pensioners’ incomes series: An analysis of trends in Pensioner Incomes: 1994/95 to 2017/18. This report examines how much income pensioners get each week, and where they get that income from. It looks at how their incomes have changed over time, and variations in income between different types of pensioners.
The average income of all pensioners in 2017/18 was £304 per week which has remained stable since 2009/10 when it was £307 per week. In 2017/18, the average income for pensioner couples was £454 per week. This was more than twice that of single pensioners, who had an average income of £213 per week.
More than one fifth of pensioner couples’ income was from earnings. In 2017/18, benefit income was the largest component of total gross income for both pensioner couples and single pensioners. This was 59 per cent for single pensioners, while for pensioner couples it was 35 per cent. Income from occupational pensions was 29 per cent of total gross income for pensioner couples and 25 per cent for single pensioners.
Income from earnings made up seven per cent of total income for single pensioners. For pensioner couples, 22 per cent of total income was from earnings. Twenty-four per cent of pensioner couples contained one adult below State Pension Age. For some of these couples, the adult below State Pension age contributed to the earnings income.
Single male pensioners had higher average incomes than single female pensioners in 2017/18. Single men had an average weekly income of £233 and single women had an average income of £206. The average weekly incomes of both single men and single women were higher in 2017/18 than 2007/08, when they were £210 and £189 respectively. Over the 20-year period 1997/98 to 2017/18, there was an increase of five percentage points in the percentage of pensioners receiving income from private pensions – from 62 per cent to 67 per cent.