Enough Money?

The basic State Pension from April 2005 is:

£82.05 for a single pensioner
£131.20 for a couple (based on husband’s contributions)
£164.10 for a couple (if both paid full contributions)    

From April 2005 in the UK, the weekly Standard Minimum Income Guarantee rate (of Pension Credit) for a single person aged 60 and over is £109.45, and for a couple £167.05. Additional amounts for severely disabled people, carers and homeowners can increase these standard rates. 
(Your rights guide 2005-6: a guide to benefits for older people. Age Concern Scotland, 2005)  

Recent figures for Scotland show 139,300 people over 65 claimed Attendance Allowance to help with the costs of illness or disability. 276,000 people over 60 in Scotland depended on Pension Credit. 207,000 people aged 60 or over claimed Housing Benefit to help pay their rent. 284,000 people aged 60 or over claimed Council Tax Benefit.
(Department for Work and Pensions www.dwp.uk/asd)

The cost of the Council Tax represents 3% of the net income for all Council Tax payers, but for single pensioners it represents 5.5% of income, and for pensioner couples around 5%
(Help the Aged/New Policy Initiative. The impact of Council tax on Older People Income: an initial review www.helptheaged.org.uk)

The median household income for single pensioner households is £151 per week, compared to median household income of £279,  £215 for single parent, and £457 for small family.  

Just fewer than 8% of pensioner households (52,000) have an income of less than £100 per week.
(2002 Scottish House Condition Survey. Communities Scotland www.shcs.gov.uk)

Just over 11% of single pensioner households (39,000) have an income of less than £100 per week.  

74% of single pensioner households (250,000) have less than £200 per week. 

Almost one in five households (438,000) have a weekly income of over £500, but less than 4% (26,000) of older households fall into this category.
(2002 Scottish House Condition Survey. Communities Scotland www.shcs.gov.uk)

Pension Credit:  It is estimated that 3.75 million older UK households are eligible to make a claim for pension credit, although in February 2005 there were only 2.67 million pension credit claims.  This means almost a third (31%) of eligible pension credit claimants are not taking up their entitlements.  
(Department of Work and Pensions www.dwp.uk/asd)

The value of all unclaimed benefits for older people in the UK has been reported at between £960 million and £1.8 billion.  
(National Audit Office. Tackling Pensioner Poverty: encouraging take-up of benefit Nov. 2002)

Local authority supported care home residents in Scotland receive only £18.80 a week as a personal expenses allowance. This amount is meant to pay for basic items such as toiletries, clothes and hairdressing, telephone calls, newspapers, presents for grandchildren and holidays.     
(National Assistance (Sums for Personal Requirements) (Scotland) Regulation 2003)