Pensions gender gap wider than in 2012

Women retiring this year expect their annual retirement income to be more than a third (36%) lower than men’s, adding up to a pension gender gap of £6,500, according to research by Prudential.

Its Class of 2013 study found that the pension gender gap is 13% wider than it was in 2012, when it stood at £5,750.

The research found, on average, that women expect to retire on £11,750 a year, down from £12,250 in 2012, compared with £18,250 for the average man, up from £18,000.

The average annual expected retirement income for 2013 across both sexes is £15,300.

The research also found:

  • 43% of female respondents retiring this year feel financially well prepared for retirement, compared to 52% of men.
  • 32% of female respondents believe they will have enough income to enjoy a comfortable retirement, compared to 41% of men.
  • The pension gender gap is widest in the east of England where women retiring this year expect to receive £10,300 less average income a year than men: £9,100 compared to £19,400.
  • The pension gender gap is narrowest in the West Midlands at £3,750. Women in the region expect to retire on £10,300, while men expect to retire on £14,050.

Stan Russell, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “The pension gender gap remains stubbornly wide.

“The retirement incomes of both men and women are under pressure, but for women the strain is particularly pronounced this year as their expected incomes reach an all-time low.

“There are, however, practical steps that women can take today to improve their retirement incomes, including maintaining pension contributions where possible during career breaks and making voluntary national insurance contributions when they return to work.”