Aims: To quantify the impact of the South African old age (social) pension on outcomes for pensioners and the prime-aged adults and children who live with them, and to examine alternative means by which pensions affect household outcomes. Methods: We collected socioeconomic data on 290 households in the Agincourt demographic surveillance area (DSA), stratifying our sample on the presence of a household member age-eligible for the old-age pension (women aged 60 and older, men aged 65 and older). Results: The presence of a pensioner significantly reduces household reports that adults and, separately, children missed meals because there was not enough money for food. In addition, girls are significantly more likely to be enrolled in school if they are living with a pensioner, an effect that is driven entirely by living with a female pensioner. Our results are consistent with a model in which pensioners have a greater say in household functioning once they begin to receive their pensions. Conclusions: We find a program targeted toward the elderly plays a significant role in children’s health and development.