9 Dec 2016
Are women at a disadvantage in retirement?
Women are being warned that they could face a bleaker retirement than men unless they take steps to boost their retirement income.
On average, women have around half the amount of pension savings that men do1. There are several factors at play here including the gender pay gap, career breaks and longevity.
Women in the UK are outliving men by an average of 3.7 years2. However, they’re also experiencing higher levels of poverty in old age than men, after building up smaller pension pots throughout their working lives. Their ability to save is limited by inequality of pay and being more likely to work part-time. Taking career breaks to raise families or care for elder relatives will also have a direct impact.
By underestimating how much income they’ll need in retirement, women can often fail to build up a sufficient pot to support themselves. If they have less money coming in, they may often choose to deprioritise retirement savings in favour of more pressing expenditure throughout their lives, such as childcare. Divorce, disability, illness or caring responsibilities can disproportionately impact women’s finances in later life too.
With recent State Pension changes adding confusion to the mix, it may be tempting not to think about it, but with careful planning and asset management, more women can enjoy a decent quality of life during their retirement.
Retirement health check
- Check your State Pension age at www.gov.uk/state-pension-age/y
- Boost your State Pension further. Information on how to ‘top up’ your National Insurance Contributions to boost the amount of pension you get, can be found at www.gov.uk/state-pension-topup
- If you’ve a workplace pension pot, check whether it’s possible to boost your contributions, or delay accessing it to allow more time to make more contributions.
- Examine your assets. If you own your own home and have seen its value grow over time, would you consider downsizing or releasing some equity from its value to supplement your income?
Visit the Department for Work and Pensions website at www.gov.uk/department-for-work-pensions
Call the Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047 or visit their website at www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk/women-and-the-state-pension
Find an Independent Financial Adviser who can provide advice on all financial services, including pensions at www.unbiased.co.uk/
Visit The Money Advice Service website for information on pension options, financial planning and how to boost your retirement income: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/pensions-and-retirement