02 April 2018

Official figures show shocking disparity in pension incomes – Royal London

5 min read

Helen Morrissey, Personal Finance Specialist
Helen Morrissey

Corporate PR Specialist – Long Term Savings


Analysis of new HMRC figures by mutual insurer Royal London highlight shocking disparities in pension incomes even within the same region. While the top ten boroughs for pension income are all in London or the South East, the bottom ten boroughs also include three in London and the South East.

While the mean income for London based pensioners is £18,400 per year this is bolstered by areas such as the City of London where mean pension incomes are £37,900, Westminster (£29,500) and Kensington and Chelsea (£26,700).

Meanwhile pension incomes in Barking and Dagenham average just £12,800 while those in Southampton are £13,100 and in Slough stand at £13,500.

In Scotland mean pension incomes range from £20,000 in Stirling to £13,900 in North Lanarkshire. In Wales mean pension incomes range from £18,700 in the Vale of Glamorgan down to £13,900 in Caerphilly.

The top 10 and bottom 10 local authorities for pension incomes are shown in the tables:

Table 1. Top 10 local authorities for pension income 2015-16
  Local Authority Nation/region Pension income
      (£ pa)
1 City of London London 37900
2 Westminster London 29500
3 Kensington & Chelsea London 26700
4 South Bucks South East 26000
5 Elmbridge South East 25900
6 Mole Valley South East 25700
7 Camden London 24000
8 Chiltern South East 23300
9 Guildford South East 23100
10= Hart South East 22600
10= Waverley South East 22600
Table 2. Bottom 10 local authorities for pension income 2015-16
  Local Authority  Nation/region Pension income
      (£ pa) 
1 Stoke West Midlands 12300
2 Barking and Dagenham London 12800
3 Hull Yorks and Humber 12900
4 Sandwell West Midlands 13000
5 Southampton South East 13100
6 Bolsover East Midlands 13300
6= Leicester East Midlands 13300
8 Knowsley North West 13500
8= Slough South East 13500
10 Sunderland North East 13600

Commenting on the figures Helen Morrissey, Personal Finance Specialist at Royal London said:

"When it comes to pension incomes, there is not a simple north/south divide. While all of the top ten local authorities are in London and the South East, three of the lowest income authorities are also in London and the South East. In addition, the other areas with the lowest pension incomes are scattered throughout the UK. It is clear that pension incomes across the UK are highly variable, with in some cases very prosperous pensioners living only a few miles down the road from those who are struggling. These figures show a shocking disparity in pension incomes."

- ENDS -

For further information please contact:

Helen Morrissey, Corporate PR Specialist – Long Term Savings

Notes to editor

1.Figures are based on the UK’s 31 million taxpayers, and include all forms of taxable pensions income. 

2.Data for each local authority area in the UK can be found in HMRC’s Personal Incomes Statistics 2015-16 – table 3.14 

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £117 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 3,745 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2018.