Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 November 2008
Comments made by a UK Government minister in 1989 concerning poverty, or rather the lack of it, amongst elderly people once again reflected the idea that the majority are well-off and less in need of State support than was the case in the past. The idea of a new group of Woopies (well off older persons) has been used as justification for debate about the introduction of means-testing for certain benefits directed at the elderly population. This paper challenges that view. It traces the evolution of the Woopie using published data and then examines the socio-economic characteristics of such a group. In a series of logit estimates to determine what factors are of importance in determining ‘Woopie status’, unsurprisingly receipt of income from assets and from an occupational pension are the most significant variables. Finally the scope for policy changes is examined.
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