Women 'fail to save for pensions'

23-09-2004

Women could face poverty in retirement because of a "gender pensions gap", according to research from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
Up to nine million women are either not saving enough for retirement or are not saving at all, the ABI has said.

About 35% of women do not belong to a pension scheme compared to 25% of men, according to the research.

Women are also less able to save for their retirement, as their work is more likely to be disrupted by childcare.

Women are more likely to retire earlier and live longer than men and more likely to work for employers that do not contribute to pensions.

This means that almost two-thirds of women's income in retirement is from the state and many women end up on means-tested benefits to fund the income gap, the ABI said.

WOMEN AND PENSIONS 35% of women do not belong to a pension scheme compared to 25% of men
When they do save, over half of women contribute less than �100 per month to their pension
9% of women receive an employer contribution of more than 5% of wages, compared to 15% of men
83% of retired women have a total personal income of less then �1,000 per month compared with just 58% of men
Source: ABI

The ABI believes the government should encourage employers to contribute to their workers' pensions.

Under existing legislation, employers are not required to make any contributions, although many do.

Poor understanding

One major barrier identified by the report is the fact that few women understand pensions.

Only 3% of women have a decent knowledge of the issue and the ABI wants better information made available to women about pensions, particularly in the workplace.

"Women are clearly at greater risk than men of facing poverty in their retirement," said Joanne Segars, head of pensions and savings at the ABI.

"The savings industry, government and employers must work together to help women save for a decent income in retirement."

BBC News

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