New data has revealed that 37% of female employees do not have a workplace pension, compared to 32% of men.
Pensions consultancy Barnett Waddingham’s research was compiled based on responses from 2,002 UK working adults, of which 1,022 were women. It found that females are lagging behind men on workplace pensions, leaving them at risk of being financially underprepared for retirement and having to rely on a state pension alone.
The findings also highlighted that women are significantly less likely to have made changes to their workplace pension investment strategy, with 85% saying that they have not done this as opposed to 75% of men.
The pensions gap appears to widen substantially later in life, as almost two-fifths (38%) of women over the age of 55 will rely on just a state pension compared to 17% of men aged 55 and above.
Amanda Latham, policy and strategy lead at Barnett Waddingham, commented that while women are saving more than ever, there is still a big proportion of women that are at risk of walking into retirement with insufficient funds that are less than their male counterparts, with the existing framework letting too many women down when it is in the interests of wider society for people to be well prepared for retirement.
She explained that without a workplace or a private pension, they will be relying on the state pension alone in retirement, which for many is simply not enough to cover the costs of a comfortable retirement.
“There needs to be a much greater level of financial education to help more women make informed choices about their pension, but the onus shouldn’t fall on individuals alone. In a system designed around inertia, we need to see policymakers and employers offering better default strategies rather than relying on pension holders to come up with them themselves,” Latham said.