A man from Penzance has given a warning of pensioner poverty and issued a call for action as part of a panel at a charity conference.

Rob Trewhella, 67, spoke at the Independent Age’s conference Two Million Too Many: Tackling Poverty in Later Life.

Here, the harsh realities of pensioner poverty and the projected increase in its prevalence were discussed.

Independent Age, the national charity supporting older people experiencing financial hardship, projects that nearly one in four older people could be in poverty by 2040.

Mr Trewhella, who has had to become a taxi driver since his retirement to meet his rent, shared his insights on the hardships of the high cost of living experienced by elders.

He said: "I drive a taxi in Cornwall, and although I enjoy it, I’ve been working since I was 18 and I don’t want to still be doing it when I’m in my seventies.

"But right now with my rent there’s no way I could retire, my State Pension just isn’t enough.

"I wanted to take part in Independent Age’s conference to share my experiences and encourage those in power to really consider the needs of older people in financial hardship."

(Image: Independent Age)

On June 12, the conference brought together more than 150 attendees and featured a photo exhibition of older individuals living on a low income across the UK.

Discussion panels explored the stigma of poverty in the older age bracket and realistic experiences of people affected by it.

Independent Age seized the opportunity to debut new research projecting a drastic increase in pensioner poverty by 2040 if current trends continue.

The report, ‘Keys to the Future’, suggests that in just over 15 years, older people's poverty rate could increase from 17 per cent to 23 per cent.

This equates to 2.1 million people in 2022 potentially growing to 3.9 million by 2040.

Older women and people with disabilities are also at a higher risk of poverty, with predicted rates of 26 per cent and 29 per cent respectively.

Joanna Elson CBE, chief executive at Independent Age said: "We’re thrilled that Rob took part in our panel.

"As we work to tackle poverty in later life, hearing directly from older people on a low income is so important, and Rob’s role at the conference was invaluable.

"Together, by listening to the voices of older people and working together, we can make sure that we can all look forward to a later life with dignity."