On average men have triple the amount of pension savings compared to women, research by Aegon has found.
The latest findings from Aegon’s Readiness Report show that men have, on average, £73,600 saved in pensions compared to women’s £24,900. However, Aegon said this is due to the “disrupted savings journey that women face”.
Over two fifths (42 per cent) of women have never reviewed or taken any action that affects their plans for retirement and just a fifth (19 per cent) have engaged in the last six months. However, 24 per cent of men have checked or amended their pension plan in the last six months. Aegon believes this difference is why 35 per cent of women have no idea how much they have saved into their pension.
Over a quarter (27 per cent) of women say they don’t understand the information provided, 13 per cent believe there is a lack of online services or information and 11 per cent avoid checking their pension savings because they fear seeing how little they have saved.
Commenting, Aegon head of pensions Kate Smith said: “Women often face a more disrupted savings journey due to maternity leave and working part time, juggling a career and children, so it’s crucial that they actively engage with their pension savings – burying heads in the sand is simply not an option.”
Despite this, the research highlights an encouraging overall trend that the value of women’s pension pots is increasing. In April 2015 women had just £16,700 saved in pensions, this increased to £20,400 in 2016 and has again risen to the £24,900 women have today.
A number of initiatives are behind this, including the ongoing roll–out of workplace auto-enrolment, the introduction of the pension freedoms, and the fear that pension tax relief could be reduced but it may also be that women are becoming increasingly aware of the need to provide for later life.
“The pension dashboard, due to be introduced in 2019, where people will be able to see all their pensions in one place should help to spark more interest in pensions. But women shouldn’t wait two years before taking any action,”Smith added.