Official figures published today add to evidence that older households have suffered least in financial terms from the impact of the financial crisis and austerity.
Working households saw their typical incomes fall by 6.4 per cent between the financial year ending in April 2008 and April 2012.
However, the incomes of retired households grew by 5.1 per cent.
The ONS has taken the median, or middle, figure for incomes and reduced them to take account of rising prices over the four year period.
While wages have come under severe pressure, ministers have protected pensioners by promising annual increases linked to inflation or average earnings, with a minimum of 2.5 per cent.
Since the start of the economic downturn, typical household income for the overall population has fallen by 3.8 per cent after adjusting for inflation.