Belfast Telegraph

Pensioners’ Income Series Bulletin, Northern Ireland 2010-2011

Stormont Executive press release - Department for Social Development

A bulletin entitled “Pensioners’ Income Series Bulletin, Northern Ireland 2010-2011” containing statistics for the period April 2010 to the end of March 2011, was published today by Analytical Services Unit in the Department for Social Development.

The key facts include:

Income trends

· Pensioner units (all pensioner couples and single pensioners) in Northern Ireland received on average £400 per week in gross income in 2010-2011, which is an increase of 13% from 2003-2004. Approximately half of this total (£204) was sourced from state benefits.

· In 2010-2011 mean net weekly income Before Housing Costs and After Housing Costs for all pensioner units was £343 and £326 respectively. Mean net income Before Housing Costs rose by 11% between 2003-2004 and 2010-2011, and mean net income After Housing Costs has increased by 12% over the same period.

· In 2010-2011 median net weekly income was £239 Before Housing Costs and £219 After Housing Costs. Median net income Before Housing Costs decreased by 2% between 2003-2004 and 2010-2011, and median net income After Housing Costs has decreased by 4% over the same period.

· Median net income After Housing Costs rose by 8% between 2003-2004 and 2009-2010 before falling by 11% between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.

· A three year average of weekly gross income for pensioners couples shows that in 2008-2011 Northern Ireland was the lowest ranking region for gross income (£520) of all regions in the United Kingdom; this compared to Wales (£609), Scotland (£615), England (£617) and the United Kingdom average (£614). Single pensioners also had the lowest gross weekly income (£242) of all regions in the United Kingdom; this compares to Wales (£282), Scotland (£285), England (£299) and the United Kingdom average (£295).

· In 2008-2011, Northern Ireland had the highest weekly benefit income (£221) for pensioner couples of the United Kingdom regions, £12 per week higher than the United Kingdom average (£209). Single pensioners had the second highest benefit income (£177) of all regions in the United Kingdom, level with Scotland, higher than England (£174) and £2 higher than the United Kingdom average (£175).

Income sources

· Ninety five per cent of all pensioner units for the three year period 2008-2011 were in receipt of state pension. This is the same proportion as in the period 2003-2006.

· In 2008-2011 35% of pensioner units were in receipt of disability benefits and 14% were in receipt of earnings from employment.

· Almost a third (29%) of all pensioner units during the period 2008-2011 derived more than half of their gross income from private sources. This is three percentage points higher than in 2003-2006.

Distribution of pensioners’ incomes

· In general median net incomes (After Housing Costs) of both pensioner couples and single pensioners increased, in real terms, between 2003-2006 and 2008-2011 across the pensioners’ income distribution. The lowest increases (0% - 2%) were observed for those pensioners with incomes falling within the bottom fifth of the distribution.

· Older pensioner couples were more likely to have lower incomes than younger pensioner couples. Over half of pensioner couples (51%) where the head was aged 75 or over had incomes (After Housing Costs) which fell into the bottom two fifths of the pensioners’ income distribution, this compared with 36% of pensioner couples where the head was aged under 75.

· For single pensioners, recently retired pensioners are more likely to be in the bottom two quintiles of the pensioners’ income distribution (44%), than pensioners aged 75 or over (42%) and pensioners aged under 75 (38%).

·Fifty three per cent of pensioner couples were in the top half of the overall Northern Ireland income distribution in 2010-2011 compared to 45% in 2003-2004.

Notes to editors:

1. The statistics contained in the publication are derived from the Family Resources Survey (FRS) in Northern Ireland. This survey collects data on income levels, resources and financial circumstances of individuals and households for the period from April 2010 to March 2011 and was introduced for Northern Ireland in 2002-2003.

2. All monetary amounts quoted in the key facts and bulletin are in 2010-2011 prices and growth rates presented are in real terms that is, after inflation.

3. The report is available on the Department for Social Development’s website at: http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/stats_and_research/statistics_and_research-pensioners_income_series.htm. Further enquires should be addressed to: Analytical Services Unit, Level 4, James House, Gasworks Business Park, Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 2JA: Tel: 028 9081 9910; Fax: 028 9081 9961;email: ASU@dsdni.gov.uk
 

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