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Income from Pensions

In 2011, pension benefits provided income to nearly one third of older adults. Below are some statistics on the median benefits received by older adults.

Median Pension Benefit

In 2011, one out of three older adults received income from private company or union pension plans, federal, state, or local government pension plans, or Railroad Retirement, military or veterans pensions. The median private pension benefit of individuals age 65 and older was $8,853 a year. The median state or local government pension benefit was $18,289 a year.

Table 10. Median benefit for persons age 65 and older with income from private pensions and annuities, public pensions, and veterans benefits

Type of pension benefit

Median benefit, 2011

Private pensions and annuities

$8,853

Federal government pension

$23,137

State or local government pension

$18,289

Railroad pension

$20,289

Military pension

$19,319

Veterans benefits

  $8,770

Median Income by Retirement Benefit Type

In 2010, the median income of retiree aged units (with no earnings from work) age 65 and over with pensions and Social Security was more than twice the income of aged units receiving only Social Security.

Table 11. Median annual income of retiree (persons with no earnings) aged units 65 and older, by retirement benefit types

Retirement benefit type

Median income, 2010

Social Security only

$15,080

Social Security and private pension

$31,077

Social Security and a federal pension

$35,871

Social Security and Railroad Retirement, state, local government or military pension

$40,864

 

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