Retirement gender gap as women fail to engage with their pensions

Women are woefully underprepared for retirement compared to men, research warns.

A survey by pension and investment company Aegon reveals that one in three women don’t know how much they have saved in their pension pots. That compared to just one in five men.

Worryingly, some 15 per cent of women have no pension plans in place, while this falls to 11 per cent of men.

Aegon says the results show a concerning gender gap when it comes to planning for retirement.

Men are twice as likely than women to be confident they will retire comfortably. Meanwhile, women are less likely to have estimated how much they will need for the future.

Aegon says women are more likely to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to pension planning. Indeed, recent research has found that women typically retire with an annual income £4,900 lower than men.

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, says: ‘We know there are a number of factors that impact a women’s ability to save for retirement, including career breaks to raise a family or are for elderly parents, but this shows that many women are burying their heads in the sand and failing to prepare for retirement.’

Aegon found that just 4 per cent of women have £300,000 or more saved into a pension, compared to 15 per cent of men. This is the amount needed for someone on average earnings to maintain their lifestyle once they stop working.

Yet there is evidence to show that women who save just 1 per cent more of their salary can close the retirement gender gap. 

Smith adds: ‘The sooner women are ale to engage with pension saving, the better. Everyone should think ahead to retirement, regardless of their age or gender and it’s a good idea to regularly check how much you hold in savings and, where possible, think about paying in more.’ 

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