There are almost 425,000 State pension contributory and 95,000 State pension non-contributory recipients. It is not possible to accurately categorise pension recipients into either single persons living alone or couples.
Both state pension (contributory) and (non-contributory) recipients may claim an increase for qualified adult where their spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is being wholly or mainly maintained by them and where that qualified adult’s means are below a weekly means test limit. Over 60,000 state pension contributory recipients and over 3,000 state pension non-contributory recipients are getting an increase for qualified adult payment.
In the case of state pension non-contributory, qualified adult increases are only paid in respect of dependants under pension age, as once they reach pension age they are entitled to claim pension in their own right.
For both pension types, a couple can comprise of two people in receipt of their individual personal pensions. It is not possible to provide statistics on the status of these relationships, or where any change of status occurs such as separation, divorce or widowhood.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.