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Pension gender gap widens

Pension gender gap widens

Category: Pensions

Updated: 14/10/2009
First Published: 14/10/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Pension savings are rising but the gender gap is widening, according to the latest research into how the nation is preparing itself for retirement.

Just 47% of women are saving adequately for retirement compared with 59% of men, meaning the gap has widened by 3% over the last year, Scottish Widows has revealed.

Over a quarter (26%) of women who could and should be saving are not putting anything away for retirement, up from 22% in 2008 and comparing unfavourably to the 15% of men who fail to do so.

surprisingly, it is women that are more conscious than men of the need to plan for life after work, even though these good intentions are not being translated into increased savings.

Chief amongst the reasons why this might be so, is that many women will take time out of their working life to have children and raise a family.

In this respect, the report says it would be beneficial if both the Government and the pension industry accepted that women require more flexibility when it comes to pension savings.

Placing greater value on workplace pensions and allowing women to access their pension funds early were amongst the possible remedies mooted.

"For many women the issue of pensions is a vicious circle, but they need to try and prioritise saving for retirement even if they contribute less when they have children or change their working patterns," said Ian Naismith, head of pensions market development at Scottish Widows.

"The golden rule is that people should save 12% of their income to ensure they have an adequate retirement. While many women focus on the present, it is key that they also need to plan for their futures as well."

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