Personal finance: A humble fiver makes all the difference

The rise in the old age pension earlier this year, derided as an irrelevance at the time, has meant that tens of thousands are no longer obliged to keep part of their pension pot locked away until they are 75

Industry warnings that easier access to funds would lead to pensioners recklessly spending their retirement fund on yachts and sports cars proved ill-founded Pic: Getty

It has been six months since the contributory old age pension went up by €5 a week, taking the state pension to €12,911.60 a year.

That extra money was largely dismissed as inadequate by pensioner groups, who complained that it would make little difference to anyone struggling on less than €250 a week.

That may be so, but it carries far more significance. That additional fiver means that tens of thousands more pensioners ...