Jenny Willott MP lives on State Pension for a week to highlight how the UK is heading for a Pensions "Dark Age"

2009 Tachwedd 3 5:05 PM

This week, Jenny Willott MP for Cardiff Central will live on the equivalent of the basic state pension - £95.25 - to highlight pensioner poverty in the UK.

As part of its "My Budget Day" campaign to encourage people to take better control of their finances, particularly when it comes to retirement planning, AXA is launching a UK-wide 'Living on a State Pension' campaign.

The campaign starts today (2nd November) with 14 people, including Jenny, former England rugby captain Kyran Bracken and author and broadcaster Rosie Millard. They will record their experiences on video diaries and via regular updates at: www.axa.co.uk/mybudgetday.

Research revealed by AXA last week showed that state pension provision in the UK lags behind its G7 counterparts and needs to be reformed in order to avoid today's workers living in poverty as pensioners.

Research from AXA found that some 64 per cent of UK residents intend to rely on their state pension in retirement as more and more workers move away from occupational pension schemes.

Commenting on the experiment, Jenny said,

"Attitudes towards saving for retirement need to change drastically if individuals are to make ends meet.

"The current pension system is unfair. It discriminates against women and carers who take time out of work, and the basic state pension is far too low.

"2.1million pensioners live in poverty in the UK today, and two out of three pensioners are forced to rely on benefits to get by.

"I'm sure I will find this week an eye-opener and I hope AXA's project sends a strong message to the Government that too many pensioners are living in poverty, and an urgent reform of the pension system is needed".

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