Improve income security

Whatever our work history, gender, disability or position in society, we all need a reliable, adequate income as we get older. With a secure income, we can contribute to our communities and have a good quality of life.

Choosing how we live and support ourselves as we age is key to living with dignity. The right systems, structures and opportunities have to be in place to for this to become reality.

This includes:

  • Pensions and social protection (against poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion).
  • Decent work that gives a fair income, safe working conditions, equal opportunities and treatment and, enables our personal development.
  • Access to financial services without discrimination and the opportunity to start businesses.

Only 20% of older people in low-income countries receive a pension.

Around the world, we face discrimination and ageism as we get older. Many older people are excluded from employment and work opportunities, financial services, skills development, and employment generation schemes.

COVID-19 and the measures imposed to control the spread of the pandemic made the situation worse. For example, lockdowns meant that younger family members who were supporting elder relatives, can no longer provide financial assistance.

Those who are not part of a pension scheme, can be pushed further into poverty and often struggle to receive emergency relief.

The food, fuel and finance crisis

Rising food and fuel costs together with an ever-worsening financial conditions are affecting all of us. But for older people on an already low or no income, the situation is bleak. We take a look at why it’s happening, the toll it’s taking and what we could do about it.

Click here to know more

The world of work

Globally, many older people earn an income through informal jobs and running small businesses. These tend to provide lower and less reliable earnings.

Older women face further disadvantages and discrimination. They receive less education and training than men, shoulder most unpaid – and often unrecognised – care responsibilities and, have lower rates of pay.

Yet despite these challenges, many older people continue to work, drawing not just income but also purpose, recognition, and social integration from working.

What is HelpAge International doing?

We are working to make sure governments put systems in place that protect and promote sustainable incomes to enable us to live a good quality of life as we get older.

Securing pensions and social protection

  • Working with older people so their voices are heard.
  • Gathering evidence to show the impact on older people’s lives.
  • Advising governments on developing social protection schemes and pensions.
  • Supporting network members and partners to campaign at the national level for better pensions.

Fighting discrimination and ageism

  • Supporting older people to access financial services.
  • Working with older people to develop ‘Future of Decent Work in Older Age’ – a framework for upholding older people’s rights.
  • Advocating to governments to ensure COVID-19 economic support packages include specific provisions for older people.

HelpAge has made it possible for around 5 million more older people to receive social pensions or benefits.

40 years of making this world a better place to grow old in.