A million more state pensioners than five years ago

The number of Britons claiming state pension has risen by almost one million in just five years, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Britain’s ageing population means that there were 12.45m claimants of state pension at November 2009, according to figures, an increase of 250,000 on a year earlier, and up from a figure of 11.50m in November 2004, an increase of 8.2 per cent.

But the increase in those on pension credit has not been so great, with 2.74m people getting the benefit in November 2009, compared to 2.69m in November 2004, an increase of less than 2 per cent, although the ONS adds that these statistics slightly understate the level of those claiming benefits additional to state pension as a small number of people remain on Minimum Income Guarantee.