Inability to live on pension ‘startling’

Even on a tight budget, living costs are over 2.5 times what the state provides, which could force many to go into debt, according to the Axa survey.

Commenting on the findings of an experiment to make people live on a pension, Saran Allott Davey, AXA Avenue’s resident independent financial adviser, said: “The majority of those that took part have had a real wake up call and are much more aware of the need to plan.”

The experiment asked 26 families to try and survive on a state pension – most could only survive up to three days, giving a worrying indication of how pensioners are coping.

Even though pension reforms are being pushed through parliament, those currently struggling on pension will not benefit for some time and instead many are getting into debt to survive.

However, Mr Davey said that those in the experiment had now created a debt management plan, while current pensioners could also benefit from debt advice.

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