By the time the average woman reaches the retirement age of 67, she will have saved a pension pot worth £69,000, which is £136,000 less than the average man, who will have saved £205,000 in the same period, according to research by Now: Pensions.
Its 2024 gender pension gap report, published in partnership with the Pensions Policy Institute, found that women would need to work and save for an extra 19 years on average to retire with the same amount of money in their pension savings as a man.
On average, women spend 10 years away from the workforce for childcare or other caring responsibilities, resulting in an average £39,000 in lost pension savings. By their late 50s, women will have built up just 62% of the pension wealth that men have.
The report also found that 79% of those who earn less than the automatic-enrolment earnings threshold, the equivalent to 1.9 million workers, are women. If age and earning thresholds were removed from automatic-enrolment, an additional 885,000 young women would become eligible for a workplace pension.
Joanne Segars OBE, chair of trustees at Now: Pensions, said: “Despite enacting some important policies in recent years to improve financial opportunities, outcomes and equity between men and women, like auto-enrolment and gender pay gap reporting, our report is a timely reminder of the work that still needs to be done. Our research is an important step in identifying, defining, and addressing the problem and what we can do as a society to fight for fair pensions for all.”
Lizzy Holliday, director of policy and public affairs at Now: Pensions, added: “Policymakers have made important decisions in recent years, which are already making a substantial difference to the way workers and their employers are providing for retirement. But setting out the roadmap for the future of auto-enrolment, including tackling the difficult issue of adequacy in retirement, which affects women disproportionately given lower pension wealth, should be front and centre of next steps.”