South Belfast pensioners earn £5,500 more than those in West Tyrone

Pensioners in the Belfast South constituency have the eighth highest income in the UK
Gareth McKeown

PENSIONERS in the Belfast South constituency have the eighth highest income in the UK, according to new figures.

Analysis of government data from NFU Mutual has revealed that the average annual pension income for a taxpayer in south Belfast of £17,700 is £5,500 more than for someone who lives in the West Tyrone constituency (12,200). The Northern Ireland average of £13,800 is £500 a year less than the UK average (£14,300) and equates to £265 per week.

South Belfast pensioners, on average earn £340 a week and are followed by those who live in East Derry, who take home £321, or £16,700 annually. They are the only two constituencies in the north where the weekly average pension income exceeds £300. At the other end of the scale those who live in West Tyrone (£235), South Down (£242), Upper Bann (£242) and Belfast West (£244) earn below £250 per week.

The data includes both the state pension and any private pensions, but it doesn't include any numbers for pensioners whose incomes are too low to be taxed. Income tax is only paid on income over £11,850.

Barbara Lewsley, chartered financial planner at NFU Mutual, said the figures shine a light on how modest many people's incomes are in retirement.

"A lot of working people might struggle to make ends meet with similar incomes and this should prompt them to review their long-term finances. It's essential that people take stock and look at how much they're saving for the future.”

“There are big incentives to put more aside for retirement. If you're employed and paying into a workplace pension, your employer has to pay in as well." she added.

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