Gender pensions gap at 57% in some parts of UK

The UK’s gender pensions gap reaches as high as 57 per cent in some parts of the country, with the greatest disparity seen in Northern Ireland, according to PensionBee.

The provider’s analysis of its own customer data showed that UK men had saved an average of £24,236 towards their retirement, compared to just £15,006 saved by UK women, making a 38 per cent gap in the size of their respective pension pots.

Average retirement savings for men in Northern Ireland came in at £17,883, while women in Northern Ireland had just £7,737 saved in their pension pots, 57 per cent less than their male counterparts’ pots.

The North East and South West followed close behind, both with gaps of 46 per cent.

The lowest regional gender pension gap was seen in Greater London, though the disparity still amounted to 28 per cent and men had almost £7,000 more saved than women.

The gender pensions gap was also found to be wider for older groups of savers, with a 46 per cent gap between genders when exclusively looking at savers aged 50 and over, compared to an 18 per cent gap for savers under the age of 30.

PensionBee CEO, Romi Savova, commented: “It’s incredibly disappointing to see that, on average, women across the UK have 38 per cent less in their pension pots than their male counterparts.

“Everyone deserves to look forward to a happy retirement, regardless of their gender, and more must be done to prevent the gap from developing at the start of a woman’s working life, as we know that it only widens with age. Where a pay gap exists for women, a pension gap will follow, therefore tackling wage inequality is of paramount importance.”

She argued that women “must be encouraged to keep paying into their pension, even when taking breaks from paid employment or working reduced hours”, adding that “the combination of lower salaries and long career gaps, with little or no pension saving for years, are a massive disadvantage for women”.

Savova concluded: “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.”

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