State pension recipients fall by 120,000 following age change

The number of people receiving state pension benefits fell by 120,000 year-on-year to 13 million, as of February 2019, according to the latest Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) statistics.

The fall was primarily driven by a decline in the number of new claimants after December 2018, following the rise in the state pension age beyond 65 for men and women.

Commenting on the DWP’s statistics, Aegon pensions director, Steven Cameron, said that the fall in state pension recipients was due to “landmark changes” to the state pension.

He added: “It’s almost certain that we’ll see this trend continue as state pension continues to edge upwards to age 66.”

State pension recipients received an average of £144.32 per week, a £5.36 increase year-on-year, while the average weekly amount for the 1.1 million people receiving the new state pension was £154.70.

The DWP said that the new state pension has reduced the state pension income gap between men and women, as women typically receive more under the new rules.

However, the average amount women receiving the new state pension was £148.33, compared to £156.39 for men, while female state pension recipients got an average of £131.52, compared to £159.31 for men.

The DWP said that, due to the timetabled increases in the state pension age for women, fewer women have reached state pension age than men under the new state pension.

The report also revealed that the number of pension credit recipients fell by 110,000, to 1.6 million, since February 2018, of which 64 per cent were women.

The DWP stated in its report: “The downward trend in overall pension credit caseload is partly due to the raising of the state pension age, among other factors.”

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