Research reveals gender pension divide

New data has revealed that nearly two-thirds of male workers (64%) are confident they will retire at the age they intend to, compared to one in two (53%) females.

Insurance and financial services organisation Canada Life surveyed UK 4,001 working adults who had received advice from a professional adviser and found that 45% of women did not feel they would have any financial worries in retirement, compared to 58% of men. Male staff were also more likely than women to think they would completely stop working when they retire, at 60% and 55% respectively.

The research further highlighted that one in two men (52%) are likely to phase into retirement by reducing their working hours over a number of years, while 40% of women said they would do the same.

Fewer women (50%) than men (60%) feel that they will be able to support family members financially if needed after retiring, while 46% of women think they will be able to leave a particular amount of money to loved ones compared to 54% of men.

Sean Christian, managing director and executive director of the wealth management division at Canada Life, commented that the gender pensions gap is currently estimated to be twice the size of the gender pay gap. He explained that women are more likely to work part-time in low-paid work where they miss out on being auto-enrolled into a pension because they don’t meet the criteria.

“This inequality can only be addressed through decisive policy action to address the pension gender divide. Relatively simple changes to the way auto-enrolment works today would benefit both men and women but would go a long way towards levelling the playing field.

“Changes such as removing the lower contributions limit would let more people benefit from every pound earned, while removing the £10,000 threshold would make auto-enrolment more inclusive and begin to level up pensions for all,” he said.