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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

‘Staggering’ gender pension gap revealed

Men are three times more likely to have saved enough money for retirement than women in the UK, and are twice as confident about their pension savings.

Gender pension gap trebled in a decade ©Shutterstock
Gender pension gap nearly trebled in a decade ©Shutterstock

That is according to new research from pension firm Aegon, which has warned of a “vast disparity” between the sexes when it comes to adequately preparing for retirement.

After surveying almost 1,000 adults, the company found that 15% of men have more than £300,000 in pension savings, compared with just 4% of women.

This is the typical amount someone on average wages would need to keep their current lifestyle in retirement, while it was also found that 15% of women have no savings at all.

Aegon head of pensions, Kate Smith, said the “staggering” findings reflect the different working patterns of males and females, but that many women are “burying their heads in the sand”.

“We know there are number of factors that impact a women’s ability to save for retirement, including career breaks to raise a family or care for elderly parents,” she said.

“However, many women are burying their heads in the sand and failing to prepare for retirement. The sooner women are able to engage with pension saving the better.”

The research also shows that one in three British women are unsure about how much money they have saved, compared to one-fifth of men. Approximately 13% of men are confident they will have enough in retirement, while just 6% of women feel the same.

This comes after Royal London found that the difference between what men and women receive in retirement income is almost three times larger now then it was 10 years ago.

The company found that gap widened from £31 a week in 2006/07 to £85 in 2016/17, with women’s average incomes rising by 7% in real terms, compared with 23% for men.

“These figures reveal a shocking surge in the gap between men and women when it comes to living standards in retirement,” Royal London director of policy, Steve Webb, said.

“Much more needs to be done to tackle the disadvantages faced by women in the later life jobs market as well as doing more to ensure women are building up better pensions.”

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