Pension UK: Savings gap between men and women widens

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PENSION savings are important to all people looking to secure a comfortable retirement, however new research has revealed a surprising gap between the savings of men and women.

Pension saving is often undertaken by many people years in advance of their actual retirement to allow their money to grow over time. While people are saving more in their pension each year, there is still a gap between that saved by men in comparison to women. This is likely to create a stark disparity between what the two genders can afford to do in their retirement.

New research undertaken by Close Brothers, an asset management firm, has revealed the widening gap between genders in terms of saving. 

However, there is also good news for pensions overall.

The average pension pot of UK employees who work for larger firms now stands at £120,000.

This is a 35 percent increase when compared to three years ago, showing people appear to be putting more aside for retirement. 

But while women also witnessed a jump in pension saving of 38 percent over the same time period, there is still disparity present.

Women’s retirement savings currently lag behind their male counterparts, at £73,000 compared to £162,000.

This shows there is a lot more work to be done in the sector in order to achieve savings parity.

The survey was conducted among 2,000 employees across the UK who are working for companies with 200 or more employees. 

It also showed shocking gender differences between the choice to save for a pension.

The research showed almost three times as many women as men have no pension savings to fall back on at all – 11 percent compared to four percent

This could complicate circumstances for retirement, leaving these Britons to rely upon the State Pension to help once they leave work.

Jeanette Makings, Head of Financial Education at Close Brothers, commented on the research and the findings.

She said: “While it’s really good news to see the improving pensions landscape, no doubt spurred on by the effects of auto-enrolment and financial education, there is still a significant amount of work to be done to educate employees to balance their savings plans to ensure they can support their lifestyle now, for the future and for retirement. 

“With the stark gender imbalance this is even more urgent for women. 

“Understanding the financial health of employees and identifying the key employee groups and financial issues that need most attention is the first step in delivering a tailored financial wellbeing programme that will drive change.”

The discussion surrounding the difference between the pension pots of men and women has often proved important. 

It is thought a variety of factors including the gender pay gap, as well as taking time away from work due to childcare often sees the pension savings of women chipped away at. 

In 2019, the Pensions Policy Institute found women in their 60s have an average of £51,100 in a private pension arrangement, when compared to the £156,500 of men.

To increase their pension savings, women are encouraged to avoid opting out of a workplace pension, as well as researching more into their pension scheme and its benefits.

Women are also encouraged to use a pension calculator to work out how much they should be saving, as well as planning for their retirement goals. 

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