51% of women feel financially unprepared for retirement

Jeanette Makings

More than half (51%) of female employee respondents feel financially unprepared for their retirement, compared to 35% of male respondents, according to research by Close Brothers Asset Management and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).

Its The lifetime savings challenge report 2017, which surveyed 1,000 employers with 200 or employees and 2,009 employees from organisations with 200 or more employees, also found that 42% of female employee respondents do not think they have a large enough salary and workplace benefits to save, compared to 27% of male employees.

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The research also found:

  • 23% of employee respondents who are women feel well prepared for retirement, compared to 36% of employees who are men.
  • 29% of female employee respondents have less than £5,000 in their workplace pension, compared to 15% of male employee respondents. In addition, the average amount in a female employee’s pension scheme is £53,000, compared to £120,000 for male employees.
  • 45% of male employee respondents are confident about choosing the right financial product, compared to 36% of female employee respondents.
  • 75% of overall employee respondents state that their employer has not provided any financial education to help them understand what savings choices exist, and 32% of employer respondents believe it is their responsibility to help their employees access advice on how to achieve their savings goals.
  • 58% of employee respondents trust what their employer says about their workplace pension, share plans and other savings tools.
  • 33% of employer respondents think that employees approaching retirement would feel the greatest benefit from financial education in the workplace, compared with 29% that believe those in a defined contribution (DC) scheme would reap the greatest benefit.
  • 19% of employee respondents expect to still work in retirement; 13% are relying on receiving inheritance money to boost their finances, and 26% state they have not started saving for retirement.
  • 35% of employee respondents cite having enough money to ensure they have the lifestyle they want in retirement as one of their top saving priorities.
  • 17% of employer respondents believe their employees cannot afford to save therefore their staff does not have enough long-term savings. In comparison, 24% of employers think this is because employees are not interested in saving and 23% feel their employees do not understand the consequences of not having long-term savings.
  • 55% of employee respondents who feel unprepared for retirement state this is because they do not see how they can amass enough wealth for the retirement lifestyle they want, compared to 36% who do not know how much they need to save to be financially prepared.

Jeanette Makings (pictured), head of financial education at Close Brothers, said: “The savings crisis is thrown into stark relief when looked at under the lens of gender imbalance. Women are not only earning less and therefore saving less, but are significantly less confident about the savings options available and how to choose what’s best for them. Women are more likely to trust friends and family or personal savings website, which are unlikely to be able to provide suitable and comprehensive information across the entire savings landscape.”