How much tax do retired households pay?

New research reveals retired households are shelling out almost a fifth of their income on direct and indirect taxes.

Love Money
Last updated: 25 May 2018 - 2.27pm

Analysis of figures from the Office for National Statistics has revealed that the average retired household is paying £4,100 in direct and indirect taxes every year.

That's the equivalent of 18% of the average retired households' income, according to the study by MetLife. In total, retired people are handing a whopping £29 billion a year to the Treasury.

The biggest contributor is VAT, with retired households contributing an average of £1,865 a year, the equivalent of 8% of their income. Fuel duty makes up £262 of the tax intake, while alcohol duties cost £242.

Lower income households hit hardest

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's the households with the lowest incomes that are hardest hit by their tax bill. Retired households that are ranked in the bottom tenth of the population for income lose nearly a third of their income on tax.

In contrast, retired households with incomes in the top tenth pay out 14% in tax. That's despite having incomes as much as seven times higher than those in the bottom tenth.

Dominic Grinstead, managing director at MetLife UK, said that retiring from work unfortunately doesn't mean retiring from paying tax, whether direct or indirect.

He added: “The launch of pension freedoms has highlighted the issue of tax as many people rush to take their pension funds in full, risking unnecessary bills and providing further revenue for the Government.”

[Related story: September's big money Premium Bonds prize-winning numbers]

Enough tax to buy a new car

Earlier this year, research from Prudential suggested pensioners are shelling out even more significant sums on tax, at an average £6,500.

Stan Russell, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “It’s a stark reminder that not all the income you receive in retirement will be yours to spend as you like.”

More from BT