Most pensioners will experience a number of transitions or life events over the course of their retirement. These transitions and life events can include: leaving work or a partner leaving work; changes to benefit or pension entitlement; divorce or bereavement; the need for care or a partner’s need for care.

These events will affect retirement income levels, while the sources of income increase at different rates. This can result in some losing value in real terms as pensioners grow older. This leads to the proportion of their income that comes from the State Pension and state benefits varying over time.

This Briefing Note uses data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) to explore the role of the State Pension in people’s lives by measuring dependency (the proportion of income from the State Pension). It finds that the State Pension becomes increasingly more important at older ages, and that all cohorts have relied on the State Pension to the same degree at older ages.

This Briefing Note was sponsored by Age UK. We are grateful to Age UK for their support in producing this note. 


To download Briefing Note 104, please click here.