Low interest rates sending more pensioners bust
Older people are being hardest hit by the long period of record low interest rates, with four times as many becoming insolvent than the average.
Shock new figures published today reveal that twice as many pensioners went bust last year compared with five years earlier. Over the same time period, the insolvency rate in age groups under 35 fell. Meanwhile, recent research by the debt charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service found that the number of pensioners with unmanageable debt doubled in the past five years.
"Pensioners have been caught in a vice between high inflation and the Bank of England's low interest rates," said Keith Stevens, a partner at Wilkins Kennedy, which examined the official insolvency figures. "Low interest rates and quantitative easing have eaten away at pensioners' sources of income, while persistently high inflation has really hurt pensioners on fixed incomes."
Some 5,749 pensioners became insolvent last year, more than double the 2,725 who became insolvent in 2006.
However most of the surge happened from 2009 onwards. In 2008 pensioner insolvencies were just a fifth higher than the 2006 figure. But by 2011, pensioner insolvencies were three-quarters higher than in 2008.
Mr Stevens said: "Traditional investment vehicles are offering almost no return, especially once you take inflation into account. Today's pensioners haven't had the cushion that previous generations of pensioners had."
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Day In a Page
A modern home of almost 1,000sq ft is close to Stoke Newington's high street. £499,950
A five-bedroom bungalow in Hoveton with riverside garden and mooring dock, £550,000
A refurbished one-bedroom flat with south-facing reception and high ceilings. £579,950
A four-bedroom Grade II-listed house in Nazeing with large gardens. £550,000
A modern four-bedroom house in a converted stable within walking distance to Peckham Rye. £695,000
Three-bedroom house in a quiet residential area within close distance to Battersea Park. £450,000
A three-bedroom cottage within commuting distance of London, Norwich and Cambridge. £250,000
A two-bedroom cottage with a sun room and gardens in South Chard. £350,000.
A three-bedroom semi-detached house with original features including fireplaces and wooden flooring. £399,950
A modern two-bedroom flat split across two floors and close to several public transport links. £595,000
A one-bedroom flat with an open-plan reception/kitchen and private balcony. £315,000.
A bright two-bedroom garden flat between South Acton and Chiswick Park. £499,950.
A listed four-bedroom farmhouse with stables, set in four acres. £500,000.
A three-storey family home with four bedrooms and an extended kitchen/diner. £995,000.
A three-bedroom Hamstone cottage in the rolling Somerset countryside. £430,000.
A luxury one-bedroom apartment on the first floor of a converted Victorian house. £425,000.