The Gender Pension Gap
If you overheard a conversation about the gender gap, you might automatically think about it in terms of pay, given the relatively recent requirement for firms with more than 250 employees to disclose their pay data.
What is less well known though is the gender pension gap. In the UK, this is thought be between 30 and 40 per cent and down to two principle reasons:
- Women need more money in retirement
- Women tend to save less than men
More money needed in retirement
So why would a woman need more money in retirement than her male counterpart? In part, it’s down to mortality; women are more likely to live longer than men (estimations suggest by 2.5 years from age 65), which means they will need a bigger pension pot to secure the same level of income throughout their retirement. Because women are more likely to out-live their male partner, they would also effectively lose that second income and potentially have to shoulder things like healthcare-related costs on their own.
Less likely to save as much as men
Women also typically have shorter careers than men; given they are more likely to take career breaks to have children. They are also likely to earn less – as we know from the gender pay gap reports.
What’s more, women typically save less than men and are likely to be more cautious when it comes to investing – which means, although there’s less risk to their capital, they would lose out on the higher rewards that more adventurous investments have the potential for.
Bridging the gender pension gap
There are a number of ways women can boost their income in retirement:
- Get Advice! Research published in 2017 by the International Longevity Centre for Royal London found that people who received financial advice in the 2001-2007 period were around £40,000 better off than their unadvised peers by 2012-14.
- Start saving more, earlier. The longer you save the more time it has to grow.
- Find a way to increase your pension contributions by budgeting elsewhere.
- If you come in to some extra cash from a lottery win to bonus you can pay a lump sum in to your pension – basic rate tax payers could get 20% tax relief.
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