A NEW report has highlighted a significant gap in the average pension income of residents in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

While those in East Renfrewshire coin in £16,000 a year before tax, which is nearly £2,000 more than the national average, their neighbours in Renfrewshire are getting considerably less.

The average income for retirees living in the Paisley and Renfrewshire North parliamentary constituency is £14,000, while those in Paisley and Renfrewshire South have even less to spend, with the figure there amounting to just over £13,000.

The income gap is revealed in data obtained by leading financial services company NFU Mutual.

Leigh Tollan, a financial planner at NFU Mutual, said: “These statistics shine a light on how modest many people’s incomes are in retirement.

“A lot of working people might struggle to make ends meet with similar incomes and this should prompt them to review their long-term finances.

“It’s essential that people take stock and look at how much they’re saving for the future.”

The statistics take into account both state and private pensions, while excluding any of those whose pensions are below £11,850 and, therefore, too low to be taxed.

Ms Tollan added: “There are big incentives to put more aside for retirement.

“If you’re employed and paying into a workplace pension, your employer has to pay in as well.

“When we’re talking to our customers, it’s the tax relief on contributions that seem to be the main incentive – particularly for those on higher incomes – so a lot of people in their fifties are now viewing their pension as a medium-term investment plan.

“The tax relief gives any contributions a helping hand, any growth is tax efficient like an ISA and you can access the money from age 55 currently, so a quarter of the pension pot can be taken tax-free and the rest taxed like the rest of your income as and when you take it out.”

Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, a charity that works with people in retirement to maximise their opportunities in later life, expressed concern over the lack of income for some retirees and stressed the importance of planning for life post-employment.

He said: “We have called for government action for a career MOT at 50 for all, which would include in-depth career and retirement planning advice.

“We also advocate the importance of reviewing your benefits to ensure that you’re receiving what you’re entitled to.”