UK gender pensions gap averages 38%

Research carried out by PensionBee has revealed that depending on age and location, the UK gender pensions gap is as high as 57%.

The online pension provider found UK men have saved £24,236 towards their retirement compared to just £15,006 saved by UK women, which is a 38% gap in the size of their pension pot.

The largest gap of 57% is in Northern Ireland, with average retirement savings for men totalling £17,883 versus £7,737 for women. The north east and south west of England both have gaps of 46%, with men saving £20,514 compared to women saving £11,177, and men saving £24,641 compared to women saving £13,326 respectively.

Meanwhile, those living in Greater London have the lowest gender pension gap of 28%, with men saving £24,853 and women saving £17,863.

The research, analysed the data of more than 65,000 people, also highlighted that the gender pay gap widens with age. It discovered a 46% gap among those aged 50 and over, with men and women saving £52,592 and £28,249 respectively. This is more than double the 18% gap of savers under 30, with men and women having pension funds of £3,925 and £3,215 respectively.

Romi Savova, CEO of PensionBee, said that it is “incredibly disappointing” to see that where a pay gap exists for women, a pensions gap will follow.

“At the same time, female savers must be encouraged to keep paying into their pension, even when taking breaks from paid employment or working reduced hours. Women are more likely than men to take time off work to look after children, and many women stop contributing to their pension while on maternity leave. The combination of lower salaries and long career gaps, with little or no pension saving for years, are a massive disadvantage for women,” she said.

“The benefits of compound interest and tax tops from HMRC make a pension an attractive long-term investment, and the more women can contribute their pensions now, the more they will be able to improve their quality of life in retirement,” Savova added.