Pensioners fare better than working households says ONS

  • 2 December 2013
  • From the section Business

The Office for National Statistics has released figures that show incomes have risen for older householders but fallen for working families since the economic crisis began.

The figures add to evidence that older households have suffered least in financial terms from the impact of the financial crisis and austerity.

Working households saw typical incomes fall by 6.4% between the 2007-08 and 2011-12 financial years.

Retired households' income grew 5.1%.

The ONS has taken the median, or middle, figure for incomes, which picks the household that comes halfway along the income scale.

It chose this method rather than selecting the average, as that can be distorted by a number of super-wealthy households at the top end.

The ONS also adjusted incomes to take account of rising prices over the four-year period.


It found that growth in median household disposable income since 1977 closely mirrored growth in gross domestic product (GDP) per person, rising during periods of economic growth and falling after the recessions of the early 1980s, early 1990s and late 2000s.

While wages have come under severe pressure, ministers have protected pensioners by promising annual increases linked to inflation or average earnings, with a minimum of 2.5%.

Since the start of the economic downturn, typical household income for the overall population has fallen by 3.8% after adjusting for inflation.

It said that in cash terms, average income from employment and investments for the middle fifth of working households fell from £37,900 to £32,600 between 2007-08 and 2011-12,

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