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Pensioner millionaires on the rise in the UK

More than one million pensioner households in the UK now have total wealth of more than GBP1m, according to analysis by Prudential of the latest ONS data for 2010-2012.

The analysis shows that the number of millionaire pensioner households has soared by 69 per cent compared with 2006-2008 when the number stood at just over 636,000.
This means that more than one in 10 (11 per cent) of over-65 households now have total wealth of more than GBP1 million, an increase from seven per cent in 2006-2008.
The over-65s as a group also have a greater proportion of millionaires than the country as a whole – 11 per cent compared with the nine per cent of all UK households that are worth more than GBP1 million.
Prudential’s analysis found that the rise in the number of pensioner millionaires is thanks to a significant increase in the average value of pension assets, an increase in the value of the other financial assets held by retired households, and a rise in the average value of property assets for pensioner couples.
The median value of private pension assets – excluding those who have no private pension provision – has increased to GBP82,300 in the most recent figures, up from GBP60,000 in 2006-2008. The number of people who have some private pension wealth has also increased during this period, to 76 per cent from 73 per cent.
Savings and investments have also made a considerable contribution to the growth in the number of pensioner millionaires. Nineteen per cent of over-65 households now have savings and investments worth more than GBP100,000 – an increase from 15 per cent in 2006-2008.
In terms of bricks and mortar, average net property value for a retired couple is GBP210,000 – an increase from GBP200,000 in 2006-2008. However, for single pensioners the figure has fallen slightly, to GBP165,000 from GBP170,000 in 2006-2008.
Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, says: “These results challenge a few commonly-held perceptions. For example, it is perhaps surprising that the proportion of pensioner wealth accounted for by pension assets and savings and investments has grown far quicker than the relative value of property assets over the last few years.
“The figures underline the importance of people saving as much as possible as early as possible in their working lives, to enable them to secure a comfortable income in retirement.
“Even those who will fall into the growing number of pensioner millionaires when they retire need to consider their income options. A professional financial adviser or retirement specialist can help retirees make the right decisions when the time comes to draw a retirement income from their accumulated assets.” 
Prudential’s analysis also shows that at the other end of the spectrum, 12 per cent of pensioner households are worth less than GBP40,000 – a slightly larger proportion than those who are millionaires (11 per cent). The analysis also shows that one in eight over-65 households (12 per cent) have net savings and investments worth less than GBP500.

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