Old people just overtook the young in controlling more of Britain's wealth

Everyone is focused on how the world’s wealthiest 1% has so much money that they assume that they must control most of Britain’s wealth.

But they are wrong — Independent think tank Resolution Foundation revealed this morning that actually pensioners own a larger slice of Britain’s wealth than the under 45s.

The think tank based its analysis on Office for National Statistics data.

A household headed by a 65-74 year-old holds around 19% of the country’s wealth. The report shows this age bracket has overtaken the under-45s in owning a larger share. This is despite there being less over 65 and over households when compared to under-45s.

Meanwhile the 55-64 age bracket control 29% of Britain’s wealth.

The Resolution Foundation warned that the younger generation are now increasingly less likely to own a home because of a pay squeeze.

Since the credit crisis in 2008, the younger generation that are newer to the workforce saw a spate of job losses and squeezed pay, which Resolution Foundation blames for the falling share of Britain’s wealth.

“The stark generational wealth divide has grown since the financial crash, as a result of the recently retired being relatively protected in a downturn where house prices had a swift recovery, while real wages took six years to start increasing again,”said David Willetts, executive chair of the Resolution Foundation, and former Conservative MP, and author of the report.

“There has been a long-term shift in the share of household wealth across the UK, which has been accelerated by the recent financial crash and subsequent downturn. To ensure that younger households enjoy the same wealth in older age as recently retired households, we need to see a relentless focus on productivity to get wages growing at a healthier rate,” he continued.

“There is also an urgent need for action to boost housing supply, and for government to take a far deeper look at the inter-generational implications of its public spending priorities.”

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