Pension savings are an essential part of retirement planning. With the state pension increasingly viewed as a safety net, what the British put aside throughout their lives will matter. While the pursuit of just putting money away for later life seems so simple, there are some inconsistencies that mean many of them are missing. New data from online pension provider PensionBee, shared exclusively with Express.co.uk, has shown the extent of the problems women face across the country.
The problem concerns the gender pension gap – an issue which means that retired women often have less than their male counterparts.
The PensionBee study found that in some parts of the country, the UK’s gender pension gap is up to 57 percent – depending on the age of savers and regional location.
The problem has worsened the most for women in Northern Ireland at 57 percent, with the average savings for men being £ 17,883 versus £ 7,737 for women.
A similar problem exists for women in the northeast and southwest, with identical gaps of 46 percent – slightly higher than the national average of 38 percent.
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The results therefore show that as women approach retirement they have significantly fewer savings than men of a similar age.
The impact is strong, meaning that some women will be forced to turn to other income streams, such as the state pension, to make up for the deficit.
But even with the rising retirement age, women may have to work longer than they originally hoped or expected.
Romi Savova, CEO of PensionBee, commented on Express.co.uk.
She said: “It is incredibly disappointing to see women across the UK have, on average, 38 percent less in their pensions than their male counterparts.
“Everyone deserves to look forward to a happy retirement, regardless of gender, and more needs to be done to prevent the gulf from developing early in a woman’s working life as we know she’s just getting along with it enlarged with age.
“If there is a wage gap for women, there will be a pension gap. Therefore, tackling wage inequality is paramount. “
PensionBee also examined the expected retirement pot of each age group based on certain assumptions.
On average, people 50 and over will currently retire at £ 87,500 – the smallest personal pension.
This is more than a third less than those under 30 who are expected to retire when they turn 65 with an average pot of £ 140,700.
As a result, Ms. Savova urged savers to pay into their pensions even if circumstances change – for example, shortening working hours or taking maternity leave.
She added: “Women are more likely than men to take time off to look after children and many women stop contributing to their pensions while on maternity leave.
“The combination of lower salaries and long career gaps with years of little or no pension savings is a massive disadvantage for women.
“The benefits of compound interest and tax increases from HMRC make a pension an attractive long-term investment.
“The more women can now contribute to their retirement, the more they can improve their quality of life in retirement.”