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Sharp rise in bankrupt pensioners

Britain’s pensioners are the fastest growing group of bankrupt individuals in the UK, figures from The Insolvency Service show.

The Insolvency Service says that while bankruptcy levels among the over 65s are the lowest in the UK, the number of bankrupt individuals in this age group has shot up six-fold over the last decade and at a 50 per cent faster rate than other age groups.

For women over 65 the rate of bankruptcy has increased by over ten times between 2000 and 2009.

The Insolvency Service chief executive Stephen Speed says: “Although personal insolvency levels are no longer rising, they remain stubbornly high, reflecting the high levels of personal debt that persist across the country.”

Consumer Credit Counselling Service spokeswoman Una Farrell says: “Dealing with debt is particularly hard as you get older as you are likely to have limited opportunities to increase your income. CCCS clients aged 55 and over have on average higher debt levels but lower incomes than overall CCCS clients.

“It is very difficult to be struggling financially at a time in your life when you had expected to be more settled.”


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There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. a sad reflection of our times………..

  2. As long as our state pensions remain so inadequately low and the costs of heating, and everything else ,subject to V.A.T., are rising, there will be even more problems.

  3. I wonder how many are former IFAs with no PI or files and FOS awards against them because they cannot defend them or rely on the long stop.

  4. These %tages are meaningless without numbers to show the increase in real terms. 6 times 1 may mean 6 pensioners have gone bankrupt. 6 times 10,000 would actually mean something.

  5. Many individuals have trouble with adjusting their lifestyles to reflect more modest income levels as their earning capacity decreases and they retire. People who have grown used to using, and perhaps depending on, credit facilities for day-to-day lifestyle choices, can be caught out in their later years and find themselves sitting on a mountain of debt, which they have little or no prospect of clearing. These problems can also be exacerbated by poor health.

    In my experience of dealing with maturer people who have unmanageable levels of debt, it is quite common for them to have enjoyed apparently successful careers as business men and women – as well as in the professions – but they can still fall into a vicious spiral of increasing debt. For them, bankruptcy may be the most sensible option.

    Charles Turner, partner, FRP Advisory

  6. re dennis lynch. the state pension is not low its a common mis conception that the state should provide for people in retirement. The state pension was set up to allow people to live their last few years in dignity and atleast afford them the right to eat and be warm. People should not rely on this to provide them with a comfortable retirement. The reason it is ‘low’ is that people can often be in reciept of this for over 20 years now as technology has got better people are living longer. Its simply not sustainable to pay every one this benefit over such a long term.

  7. Richard Brown, Managing Director, Moneynotion Limi 5th January 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Anonymous – the State pension provision isn’t low, it’s PITIFULLY low!

    I think it was the ancient Greeks who stated that the measure of civilisation is how it treats its old people.

    It is frankly disgusting that younger people who have contributed little or nothing to the State should receive more money from the State than someone who has contributed for between 40 and 50 years.

  8. As a self employed person I made the mistake of working beyond retirement age and have fallen foul of solicitors bills and government policy against companies such as mine. It is not clear whether the rise in bankrupt pensioners includes those just on the state pension or whether those of us who stupidly carried on working are also included. After over 40 years in the workforce, I will end up with nothing. For those of you who are considering working beyond retirement age, like the government is trying to encourage, my advise is DON’T. You could end up like me.

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