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29 Jul 2015

New report highlights gender pension savings gap

The Guardian recently reported on a new study conducted by Scottish Widows, which sheds light on the stark differences in retirement savings between men and women in the UK.

According to the report, women save on average 38% less for their retirement than men, with the average female saver putting away £100 per month towards their retirement income.

What´s more, figures from a Prudential study show that more than one in five (21%) UK women have no pension savings at all, relying only on state provision; compared to just 9% of men in the same situation.

Scottish Widows also found that more than one in 10 women leave the responsibility of pension planning solely in the hands of their partner. While this behaviour has reduced in the past few years, Patrick Connolly from Chase de Vere feels that “we still have a long way to go” before both genders have a good understanding of their own pension provisions.

These findings are particularly worrying considering that there has been much media attention given to retirement saving this year. Women also have a longer life expectancy than men - 83.3 years as opposed to men´s 79.5 - meaning that “a woman does logically need a larger pension pot in capital terms,” explains Hannah Edwards from BRI Wealth Management.

One of the factors thought to contribute to this pensions savings gender gap is the fact that women often take longer breaks from work than men, in order to have and raise their children. In addition to this, some women are still being paid less than their male counterparts across a range of sectors.

Connolly advises both men and women that “the sooner you start saving, the easier it will be to give yourself a more comfortable lifestyle in retirement […] Even if you can´t afford to save much initially, it is better to do something than nothing. You can always increase the amount you are saving in the future.”

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