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Pensioners

Volume 229: debated on Friday 23 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what percentage of pensioner households have been dependent on state benefits for at least 75 per cent. of their income in each of the last 10 years for which information is available.

Such information as is readily available is in the table. Comparable data for 1980 and 1982 to 1986 are not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The proportion of pensioner units dependent upon state benefits 1979 to 1990–91
Benefit income makes up: at least 75 per cent, of total gross income
YearPer cent.
197962
198161
198755
198854
198953
199050
1990–9150

Notes:

1. Pensioner units are defined as single people above state pension age and couples in which the husband is above state pension age.

2. "1990–91" denotes estimates from a combined sample of the 1990 and 1991 Family Expenditure Surveys (FESs). One quarter of the 1991 FES sample has been omitted because of inadequate data on Community Charge Benefit receipt following the delayed issue of Community Charge bills in April 1991. As a result the sample size in that year is too small to provide reliable estimates of pensioners' incomes. For this reason the remaining data for 1991 has been combined with that for 1990.

3. Estimates of the proportion of pensioner units who are dependent on state benefits for at least 75 per cent. of their gross income include those with no income other than state benefits.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many and what proportion of all pensioners, single pensioners and pensioner couples have total incomes of (a) £1, (b) £2, (c) £3, (d) £4 and (e) £5 above income support levels.

The information is in the table. As this question seeks to establish pensioners' incomes in relation to income support levels the criteria for assessing pensioner entitlement to income support have been used i.e. "pensioners" are taken to be those aged 60 or over, and the average income bands exclude income derived from sources which would not be taken into account for income support (e.g. housing benefit or attendance allowance).

Number of pensioners whose income for income support purposes is within a banded range of their income support levels
(000s)
RangeSinglesCouplesTotal
£0–£1652090
£1–£2452070
£2–£3652590
£3–£4603090
£4–£5652590
Proportion of pensioners whose income for income support purposes is within a banded range of their income support levels
RangeSingles per cent.Couples per cent.Total per cent.
£0–£1111
£1–£2111
£2–£3111
£3–£4111
£4–£5111

Source

Both tables are based on data drawn from the 1989 to 1990 and 1991 Family Expenditure Surveys modeled at 1993–94 prices and benefit levels.

Notes:

1. Caseloads have been rounded to the nearest 5,000. Figures in the first two columns may not sum to the total in the final column because of rounding.

2. Each percentage gives the proportion of the total pensioner caseload for the column.

3. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest percentage point.

4. Pensioner benefit unit defined as either:

(a) Single person aged 60 or over

(b) Couple where either person is aged 60 +

5. Totals include pensioners with capital exceeding the upper earnings limit for income support.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what number and proportion of all pensioners had no income from any source other than from state benefits for each of the last 10 years for which information is available.

Such information as is readily available is in the table. Comparable data for 1980 and 1982 to 1986 is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Pensioner unit dependent upon state benefits 1979 to 1990–91 Pensioner units with no income other than state benefits
YearNumber (000s)Proportion (per cent.)
19791,47023
19811,42021
19871,11016
19881,17017
19891,01014
19901,09016
1990–911,04015

Notes:

(1) Pensioner units are defined as single people above state pension age and couples in which the husband is above state pension age.

(2) "1990–91" denotes estimates from a combined sample of the 1990 and 1991 Family Expenditure Surveys (FESs). One quarter of the 1991 FES sample has been omitted because of inadequate data on community charge benefit receipt following the delayed issue of community charge bills in April 1991. As a result the sample size in that year is too small to provide reliable estimates of pensioners' incomes. For this reason the remaining data for 1991 has been combined with that for 1990.

(3) Estimates of the proportion of pensioner units who are dependent on state benefits for at least 75 per cent. of their gross income include those with no income other than state benefits.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the actual weekly amount received by all pensioners as (a) total social security benefits, (b) occupational pensions and (c) savings income for each of the last 10 years; what were the gross and net weekly total figures; and what was the real terms increase over the last 10 years for which information is available.

Such information as is readily available is in the tables. Comparable data for 1980 and 1982 to 1986 is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Information on all sources of pensioners' income has been included (i.e. earnings and "other" income) to enable gross totals to be arrived at.

The average incomes of pensioner units by source, 1979 to 1990–91

Income source

1979

1981

1987

1988

1989

1990

1990–91

Real income growth 1979 to 1990–91 (Percentage)

(a) Pensioner couples

Earnings24·2019·0016·5025·9021·1017·9020·00-17
Benefit income81·2085·2093·8091·0090·1092·7094·4014
Investment income16·2023·1041·0040·8037·7041·9045·10179
Occupational pension30·2030·5048·0058·1051·1048·9054·4080
Other income0·800·600·800·300·500·700·9019
Total gross income152·50158·30200·10216·00200·40202·10214·8041
Deductions22·0023·1034·4038·4032·7033·0033·6053
Total net income130·50135·20165·70177·60167·70169·20181·2039
Total net income (after housing costs)111·60117·10146·50158·70152·30159·60170·9053

(b) Single pensioners

Earnings5·504·303·303·804·603·805·40-1
Benefit income53·7057·9064·0062·9061·5061·5062·3016
Investment income8·609·9014·9016·0019·0021·2021·60151
Occupational pension9·4010·9019·3019·1019·4019·5020·20115
Other income0·500·401·100·500·401·000·8050
Total gross income77·7083·50102·60102·30104·90107·10110·2042
Deductions9·5010·3016·1016·3016·8015·6015·4061
Total net income68·1073·2086·5086·0088·1091·5094·8039
Total net income (after housing costs)55·4059·6070·4070·1073·8079·6082·5049

(c) All pensioner units

Earnings11·909·508·0011·7010·509·1010·90-9
Benefit income63·2067·6074·7073·0071·9073·1074·2017
Investment income11·2014·6024·3025·0025·8028·9030·30171
Occupational pension16·6017·9029·6033·2030·9030·4032·9098
Other income0·600·501·000·400·500·900·9037
Total gross income103·50110·10137·70143·30139·50142·40149·1044
Deductions13·8014·9022·7024·3022·6022·0022·2060
Total net income89·7095·20115·10119·00116·90120·30127·0042
Total net income (after housing costs)74·8080·0097·80102·00102·20109·30115·4054

Notes:

(1) Components may not sum to totals owing to rounding.

(2) All averages are means, and all estimates of real growth are based upon mean amounts.

(3) All figures are before housing costs unless otherwise stated.

(4) Pensioner units are defined as single people over state pension age and couples in which the husband is over state pension age.

(5) '1990–91' denotes estimates from a combined sample of the 1990 and 1991 Family Expenditure Surveys (FESs). One quarter of the 1991 FES sample has been omitted because of inadequate data on Community Charge Benefit receipt following the delayed issue of Community Charge bills in April 1991. As a result the sample size in that year is too small to provide reliable estimates of pensioners' incomes. For this reason the remaining data for 1991 has been combined with that for 1990.

(6) All amounts are at January 1991 prices.