Friends Life research: Female employees’ pension contributions fall year on year

Female workers in most age groups have seen their pension contributions cut year on year, according to research by Friends Life.

The Friends Life workplace savings index revealed that the rolling 12-month average pension contribution for women under 30 decreased by £2 to £128 a month, while women aged 30 to 45 saw a £1 decrease to £213 a month, and women aged 60 or more experienced a £2 decrease to £193 a month.

Only women between the ages of 45 and 60 saw an increase in average pension contributions, but this increase was lower than for men of the same age. The decrease in contributions for women combined with rising inflation equates to an approximate decrease of 5% in real terms.

On average, women’s contributions are 38% lower than men’s at £200 a month, compared to £324. Meanwhile, men increased their contributions by £14 to £324 a month on average over the last 12 months, with men aged 45 to 60 making the largest average increase of £19, bringing average monthly contributions to £383.

As a whole, the rolling 12-month average pension contribution (for both men and women) rose by £9 over the last year, which is less than £1 a month, bringing the average contribution to £276 a month.

This means the average contribution is in line with inflation. However, these levels will not be sufficient when faced with the current lack of pensions savings in the UK and an aging UK demographic.

Martin Palmer, head of corporate benefits marketing at Friends Life, said: “It looks like good news that on the whole individuals have weathered the economic storm to date and have maintained pension contributions, but when you look at the impact on contributions by age and gender a more concerning picture emerges, where the average contributions made by women have decreased in value.†

“This is particularly concerning given that average contributions are already too low.†

“When you consider wider pension reforms and the increase in state pension age women seemingly have a tougher challenge ahead than their male counterparts.†

“It is vitally important that all customers, and especially women, focus on the long term to make adequate preparations for their retirement.”

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