Gender pensions gap fears prompt women into action

Forty-four per cent of working aged women with a workplace or a private pension have taken action regarding their pension in light of hearing about the gender pensions gap, according to new research published by Barnett Waddingham.

The consultancy firm suggested this is despite the problem being a consequence of an outdated UK pensions system that is “intrinsically biased” toward men and is failing to support women.

The findings, based on responses from 2,001 UK adults between, of which 1,023 respondents were women, suggested that many women have taken steps to engage in conversation with both loved ones and professionals having heard about the gender pensions gap.
 
A tenth (9%) of women have spoken to their partner about pension savings and the pensions gap, while 8% have sought financial advice to increase retirement savings. Barnett Waddingham also revealed that women with a private pension or SIPP are much more likely to have sought financial advice, at 13%.
 
The research also determined the steps women are planning on taking with regards to their pension. Over half (55%) plan on taking some action in light of the gender pensions gap, while a fifth (20%) of women are planning to increase monthly contributions into their pension, in order to build more substantial retirement savings. The findings also indicated that 14% of women plan on seeking financial advice.

Barnett Waddingham policy and strategy lead, Amanda Latham, suggested that recent months had shed light on the gender pensions gap and left women “dangerously underprepared financially for retirement”.

“It seems that this is not falling on deaf ears,” Latham said.

“A proportion of women have acted already to either build their savings or seek support from professionals or loved ones, and even more are planning on taking significant steps to close the gap themselves.

“While this is encouraging, it’s critical that the onus for change does not fall on individuals alone – the pension system is intrinsically biased towards men, creating a stark disparity in wealth at retirement that needs to be addressed at its core. 

“It’s therefore not enough to simply say that women need to contribute more to close the gap. Instead, we need to consider fiscal, behavioural, and societal issues collectively, and work to create a more robust and inclusive pensions framework that offers fairer solutions for all.”

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