Over-65s lead the way in spending growth

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over-65s lead UK growth

Financial planning in association with Scottish Widows bannerNew report reveals that over-65s will account for 69 per cent – or £7 in every £10 – of spending growth in 2017 and 2018 thanks to pensions cash

A new group of consumers dubbed ‘platinum pensioners’ has emerged in the UK, according to the latest report from ConsumerCast due to be published next week.

This over-65s cohort has seen total household spending soar by 72 per cent in the past five years to £72bn a year, thanks to generous defined benefit occupational pensions, a state pension guaranteed by the government’s Triple Lock policy and – following the end of the default retirement age in 2011 – additional earnings from continued employment.

The number of over-65s households in the upper-middle and top income brackets has increased by 41 per cent since 2011 to 1.5million.

Consumers aged between 50 and 64, meanwhile accounted for 34 per cent of total spending growth between 2011 and 2016, compared to over-65s households which accounted for 38 per cent.

The trend could mean a rethink for businesses targeting a younger audience – such as Next, IKEA and Asda – but should prove a welcome boost for retailers whose consumers traditionally fall into the 50+ demographic, such as Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons.

Rise of the over-65s

Indeed, over-65s households accounted for 48 per cent of the growth in household goods and services and 52 per cent of the rise in expenditure on recreation and culture, according to the new figures.

ConsumerCast suggests that these ‘platinum pensioners’ show no sign of slowing down or downsizing their household budgets and recommend retailers pursue such consumers with high levels of service, quality products and bricks and mortar and online stores – while avoiding stereotypes of older lifestyles and tastes.

Robert Carruthers, director of ConsumerCast, told thisismoney.co.uk “[Pensioners] took a bit of a hit at the beginning of the financial crisis when interest rates dropped, reducing their investment income.

“But that has quickly been replaced with additional employment earnings and increases in their occupational and state pensions. Their discretionary spending power is very significant indeed and they’re enjoying life.”

 

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