And those who die at working age are twice as likely to die in poverty compared to those who live past pension age.
Sombre statistics such as these are hard to take in, but researchers at Loughborough’s Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) are working closely with end-of-life charity Marie Curie to influence Whitehall and improve standards for dying people and their families.
In the third video interview marking the 40th anniversary of CRSP, Loughborough’s Dr Juliet Stone and Mark Jackson, from Marie Curie, sit down to discuss the prevalence and risk of poverty among people with terminal illness in the UK, and how policy interventions could help this vulnerable group.
Dr Stone’s research shows that more than 1 in 4 (28%) people who reach the end of their lives before retirement age die in poverty.. But the risk also differs across other subgroups of the population.
She said: “People from ethnic minority groups have a very high risk of being in poverty at the end of life, as do those with dependent children.”
They also talk about Marie Curie’s Nobody Should Die in Poverty campaign – an initiative which lobbies the Government to give terminally ill people early access to their State Pension as well as support with domestic energy and childcare costs.
Senior Policy and Research Manager at Marie Curie, Mark said: “Our campaign is nobody should die in poverty, which, I think everybody would agree with as a principle, but it's something we're not delivering as a country at the moment.
“The key implication for us from our research with CRSP is that the working age benefits system right now is not fit for purpose – our campaign aims to convince the UK and devolved governments of that and calls for changes to ensure terminally ill people get the financial support they need at the end of life.”
The videos have been put together to mark the 40th anniversary of CRSP.
The centre was established in 1983 by Professor Sir Adrian Webb.
Over the years, it has strived to improve people’s lives through social policy change.
It is the home of the Minimum Income Standard (MIS), a basket of goods and services – chosen by members of the public – that people should be able afford in order to live comfortably.
The centre’s other work includes the Cost of a Child, Retirement Living Standards and Bringing up a Family on a Low Income.
The other two videos in the series feature the centre’s Co-Directors Professor Abby Davis and Professor Matt Padley.
Professor Davis and Katie Schmuecker, Principal Policy Adviser at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), discuss the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) and its impact on society, both in the UK and around the world.
Professor Padley is joined by Rebecca O’Connell, Professor of Food, Families and Society at the Centre for Research in Public Health and Community Care (CRIPACC) at University of Hertfordshire, to discuss food insecurity, children and young people, free school meals and the impact of inflation.
All three interviews are hosted by Peter Warzynski and are available to watch on YouTube: