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State Retirement Pensions

Volume 503: debated on Monday 11 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will estimate the effect on the level of poverty among pensioners of paying all people reaching the state pension age in 2012-13 the full basic state pension in each of the subsequent three years. (308530)

[holding answer 6 January 2010]: The Department does not publish projections of pensioner poverty levels and therefore we are unable to answer the question.

Pensioner poverty is complex and dependent on a number of factors. Therefore projections would need to rely on many assumptions and as such would be subject to a significant degree of uncertainty.

Any current projection of the number of pensioners in poverty would be subject to uncertainties around future income growth, changes in the income distribution and individual changes in behaviour in response to policy changes. The Government therefore do not publish forward projections.

The proportion of pensioners in low income in the UK has fallen substantially over the last 10 years. There are 900,000 fewer pensioners in relative poverty in 2007-08 than in 1998-99 (measured as below 60 per cent. of contemporary median income after housing costs are taken into account). A complete set of statistics can be found in the ‘Households Below Average Income 2007-08’ publication, found at: