When it comes to pensions, women sit on an average pot of £16,083, a figure significantly smaller than the average male pension of £23,416, according to online pension manager PensionBee’s analysis.
This indicates a 31 percent UK pension gender gap between male and female pensions, although the gap appears to be much wider in certain regions.
In Northern Ireland, for instance, women sit on a pot of £4,031 - a pension that’s 76 percent smaller than the average male pension in the same region (£16,485). This isn’t an isolated case, either, as pensions in Wales and the North East are also split significantly by gender. In both instances these regions indicate a pension gender gap of around 50 percent.
Interestingly, it appears that regional inequality is associated with gender inequality, as the regions of Wales, Northern Ireland and the North East have a lower than average UK pot size. This is further illustrated by Greater London having the smallest pension gender gap, and the second biggest average pension pot size.
PensionBee also examined the relationship between the pension gender gap and age and discovered a disparity that increases significantly once women reach their 50s.
However, calculations by PensionBee suggest that the pension gender gap can be closed with some relatively straightforward interventions by women, namely contributing an extra £1,000 in their mid-20s, an extra £2,000 in their mid-30s, and an extra £3,500 in their mid-40s. Closing the pension gender gap may still not be sufficient for women to achieve a good retirement income though, according to the online pension manager’s retirement readiness analysis.
”It’s not fair that a pension gender gap exists, but given the reality of lower pay as disclosed by most UK companies, it is important that women take action early on to stop income inequality becoming a life-long burden. Targeted pension contributions are a great way to put women back on an equal footing and something every woman should consider as part of her retirement planning,” said Romi Savova, chief executive of PensionBee.