Interactive Investor

A quarter of women have less than £5,000 in their pension

26th May 2021 14:07

Marc Shoffman from interactive investor

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Worrying study finds male retirement wealth is twice as high.

A quarter of women have less than £5,000 in their pension pot, making it harder to fund their retirement, research claims.

A survey by Legal & General Retail Retirement found that 25% of women over 50 years old have less than £5,000 in their pot, compared with just 15% of men.

On average, women over 50 have about half as much in their pension pot when compared with men, Legal & General Retail Retirement says.

The research found that women in this age bracket have average pension wealth of £43,014, compared with £82,311 among men.

This has left women more likely to be unsure about their ability to fund their retirement. The study found 56% of women think they will not have enough for their ideal retirement, compared with just 43% of men.

Outside of pension wealth, men on average have a higher level of cash savings, which also contributes to overarching financial security.

On average, men over 50 have £40,167 in savings compared with just £29,327 for women, according to the research.

Andrew Kail, chief executive of Legal & General Retail Retirement, says: “Our data demonstrates a significant difference between the pension wealth of men and women and raises further concerns about women’s finances at the point they reach retirement.”

He says more needs to be done to address this financial inequality, but also to address the root causes that influence it.

Kail adds: “We know there are a multitude of factors that influence these figures, from the gender pay gap to the increased likelihood of women working part time or taking career breaks when compared to their male colleagues.

“We also know that the pandemic has likely increased this disparity due to the unpaid caring responsibilities that typically fall to women.”

Rebecca O'Connor, head of pensions and savings at interactive investor, says many women in their 50s will have missed out on auto-enrolment and worked part time to care for children, meaning they missed out on pension contributions.

Some have also suffered from increases in the state pension age.

O’Connor says: “Trying to make up for lost time with pension contributions is never easy but that’s not to say those women who are approaching retirement with small pensions shouldn’t bother. Contribute as much as you can, while you can.”

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