Poverty among pensioners has fallen by nearly a third in eleven years, driven by increased uptake of private pensions, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Figures comparing the periods 1998-99 and 2007-8 show whereas eleven years ago 2.9 million pensioners were living in poverty, this dropped to two million by 2008.
ONS research suggests those in retirement have become less dependent on the state pension as take-up of company and private pensions have increased.
The state pension provided 53% of the average income of retired households in 1977, says the ONS, with a further 18% coming from company or private pensions.
But by 2007-8, the bias towards the state pension was no longer evident, with just 37% of retired households' average income coming from the state and 36% from private and company sources.
The uptake of private pensions is therefore key in determining wealth levels in later life, concludes the ONS.
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