The obvious evidence from this chart is that the vast majority of pension wealth is owned by those in the top 10% of the income strata, with most if the rest spread over the next couple of deciles. The evidence is unambiguous: most of this subsidy is going to the wealthy.
No. The chart shows that the subsidy goes to those wealthy, not those high income. Of course, they may also be the high income, but it is not unambiguous. For wealth and income are not the same thing.
And who are the wealthy? From Spud’s own source:
Median wealth was highest for households whose head was aged 55 years to under State Pension age (£553,400); the wealth of this group was 25 times higher than those aged 16 to 24 years.
Oh, lifetime effects then. Folk about to retire have the greatest pensions wealth. Surprise! They’re also the folk likely to have paid off the mortgage. Surprise!
If you’re going to try and look at the wealth distribution you’ve got to take lifetime effects into consideration. Spud doesn’t. Oh Well.
In fact, based on the ONS wealth data it is likely that 46% of all pension tax reliefs go to the top 10% income group.
Nope. Because wealth and income are not the same thing.