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Briefing Notes

Briefing Note 51 - Do pensioners have sufficient income to meet their needs?

Many pensioners’ incomes are likely to decline relative to the earnings of the rest of the population during the course of their retirement, yet some pensioners’ needs for income may increase in later retirement as a result of key life events such as widowhood, the onset of disability or the need for long-term care. A key issue for policy makers, pensioners and their advisers is how to help people to cope with an unexpected ‘second peak’ in need for resources in later life, if it arises.

This Briefing Note summarises the findings from the first report in the retirement income and assets series. It examines the income needs of pensioners and how those needs vary during retirement; the sources which pensioners receive income from; and finally looks at whether pensioners have sufficient income to meet their needs at all stages of retirement. It finds that some pensioners might be able to meet this peak from their income, or by using other assets, savings or equity from their home, but many pensioners may be forced to rely on their family or the state for support.

The retirement income and assets series has been sponsored by Age Concern & Help the Aged (Age UK), the Association of British Insurers, The Department for Work and Pensions, the Investment Management Association, JP Morgan Asset Management and Prudential.

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