Nearly half of all UK pensioners are struggling to afford essential items, leading charities have warned.
Coming as Saga magazine has warned that many pension funds could be at risk from falling contribution levels, Age Concern and Help the Aged have called on the chancellor to do more to help older Britons in his forthcoming budget.
Research carried out by the two charities, which recently merged, found that 42 per cent of pensioners have cut back on socialising, while 41 per cent and 38 per cent have reduced their use of gas and electricity respectively in a bid to save money.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director for Age Concern and Help the Aged, said: "Many older people are being clobbered by high prices and are being pushed to extreme measures to cope financially – the government cannot sit by while older people skip meals and put their health at risk."
Meanwhile, Prudential recently reported that the gender gap in pensions is still marked, with women retiring this year likely to receive substantially less in their pensions packets than men.