UK pensioners ‘pay an average annual tax bill of £3,500’, research reveals

An analysis carried out by insurer Royal London has revealed that the average annual tax bill for taxpayers over the state pension age totals £3,522.

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Royal London used the Freedom of Information Act to collect data on taxpayers over the state pension age from local authorities in the UK. The last year for which detailed figures were available was for the tax year 2015/16, and the analysis revealed that:

  • 3.87 million men pay an average annual bill of £4,341, while three million women pay an average bill of £2,467
  • more than a quarter of tax-paying pensioners are still in paid work: 1.5 million individuals have employment income, whilst 0.5 million have income from self-employment
  • UK pensioners paid a total of £24 billion in income tax in 2015/16, of which £21 billion came from England, £1.7 billion came from Scotland, £0.8 billion from Wales and £0.4 billion from Northern Ireland.

Commenting on the analysis, Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London, said: ‘Many people might assume that, once you retire, you cease to be of interest to the taxman, but these figures show this is very far from being the truth. The number of tax-paying pensioners has nearly doubled in the last two decades.

‘When planning for retirement, it is vital to remember that the tax office will still want a slice of your income, which reinforces the need to put aside enough to secure a decent standard of living, even after the taxman has had his slice.’

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