State pension income exhausted by September for average pensioner couples

The average retired pensioner couple spends income equivalent to two annual state pensions by 31 August, leaving them with a four-month shortfall, according to Just Group.

The company, which dubbed today ‘State Pension Shortfall Day’, said average annual spending for a two-person retired household was £28,064, or £9,384 more than a set of two state pensions.

As such, if they had no additional financial resources and had spent consistently throughout the year, they would run out of money on 31 August.

Single pensioners entitled to the full state pension receive £9,340 per year and spend £13,842 a year on average, representing a shortfall of £4,502, and without additional sources of income this group would have run out of income by 3 September.

As such, the retirement specialist noted that, even if the triple lock was implemented at 8 per cent, single pensioners that rely on the state pension would face a shortfall of more than £3,500 per year and retired couples would still need to find almost £8,000.

However, recent speculation has suggested that the government may alter the triple lock after the economic recovery from Covid-19 led to strong earnings growth.

Just Group group communications director, Stephen Lowe, said: “The data reveals the shortcomings of the state pension for those who rely on it as their main source of income.

“It’s a reminder that putting off saving or opting out of a workplace pension scheme can leave people struggling for income in later life. Those thinking of accessing pensions cash before they retire will also want to consider what that might mean for their income in a few years’ or decades’ time.”

He added: “Retirees struggling for income should make sure they are claiming their full state benefits entitlement as large amounts go unclaimed every year.

“Our research shows that homeowners are particularly susceptible to missing out on potential income: four in 10 eligible pensioner homeowners fail to claim any state benefits and a further 20 per cent miss out on their full entitlement, losing hundreds of pounds a year, on average.”

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