Nearly a million retired couples are enjoying life as pension millionaires with more than £900 a week to spend, according to a new study.
Research by pension provider Aegon has revealed 840,000 couples have a retirement income income averaging £936 a week – which works out as a massive income of £48,672 a year.
These golden couples are part of the top 20% retired earners with their total income generated from several sources, including work or personal pensions, the state pension, investments and savings.
To reach that magic amount, a couple retiring this year would have had to accumulate wealth of £1 million.
Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “It is no wonder we’re often said to be living in a golden age for pensioners because many of these people will have benefited from the provision of defined benefit pensions and above inflation increases to the state pension.
Rich man, poor man gap widens
“As our figures highlight, this golden age does not apply to everyone and there’s a big and growing difference between the weekly incomes of the richest 20% of pensioners and the poorest 20%.
“Defined benefit pension schemes, while common in the past, were by no means universal and many of those pensioners on the lowest incomes will have missed out on these arrangements.”
That gap between the richest and poorest pensioners has widened over the past decade.
While the richest enjoy their income of more than £900 a week, the less well-off must get by on £257 a week.
And while the richest have seen their retirement cash increase by 21% in the past 10 years, for the poorest, the increase has been 15%.
Average pension income rises
Over the same period, average pension income has risen 18% from £487 a week to £576.
Aegon’s research matches data published by other pension providers, such as Aviva. Aviva recently highlighted that the top 10% of retired households have 27 times more gross income from private pensions than the bottom 10%.
Differences in income between public and private pensioners are also increasing, a recent study by the Office of National Statistics found. The gap between the median value of pension wealth of public sector employees compared to those in private companies almost doubled in two years.