Young women are not prepared for retirement

More than half of women under 50 admit they are not preparing adequately for retirement, according to research from Scottish Widows.

Its annual Women and Pensions report found attitudes to savings and pensions could lead to widespread poverty among future generations.

The report found younger women (aged 18 to 29) have typically accumulated just over half the amount of their male counterparts – £4,816.50 on average, compared to £7,709.

The report also revealed older women face problems with insufficient savings. On average, those aged 51 to 59 have accrued just £37,642 in retirement savings compared to £54,345 saved by men.

Ian Naismith, head of pensions market development at Scottish Widows, said: “Attitudes need to change and the major disparity between male and female saving habits needs to be resolved or even more women will face poverty in their old age.

“We should place special attention on younger women to ensure they have the best chance of decreasing their burgeoning retirement savings gap.

“We believe auto-enrolment, coupled with better pension and long-term savings education, are the key elements to improving retirement provision in the UK.

“Indeed, a measure of the success of auto-enrolment reforms should be the extent to which they encourage savings among young women.

“While everyone generally accepts they will have to work for longer and retire later, they cannot hide behind this if the right saving plans are not there in the first place.”

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