Half of women aged 45+ expect to need to work beyond state pension age

Half (50 per cent) of women aged 45 and older will need to keep working beyond retirement due to inadequate pension savings, according to a survey from Working Wise.

The survey revealed a ‘pension crisis’ for women, as 53 per cent of respondents said that their pension was not enough to for them to be financially independent in retirement.

Working Wise and the research’s sponsor, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, said the research was conducted to understand the “true plight of older women” as they near retirement, attempting to shine a light on the lasting impact of career breaks on women’s pension payments.

Of the 1,356 respondents, 83 per cent had worked part-time for at least one year of their career and 27 per cent worked part-time for over a decade.

The data also showed that 71 per cent of the women surveyed felt that going part-time or taking a career break was the reason that they reduced their pension payments and 64 per cent of respondents shared that due to a career break or reduced hours they had previously stopped their pension contributions altogether.

Working Wise founder, Gillian Nissim, commented “The gender pension gap is 37.9 per cent, which is startling until you see the results of this report which reveals that from the moment women have caring responsibilities, their pensions start to come crashing down.

“Women are more likely to have ongoing caring responsibilities that mean they will reduce their hours, work-part time or require flexible working and it is these necessities that are causing women to reduce or even stop their pension payments, these career decisions are then coming back to haunt women’s pensions in later life.”

The survey revealed that 63 per cent of women aged 45 and older said their career progression had been affected by caring responsibilities and 28 per cent stated that the menopause held them back from progressing further at work.

More than a third (34 per cent) reported needing to reduce their hours at work because of a health issue.

Working Wise’s research also offered solutions to support women to keep working and earning towards their pensions, such as flexible working, with 23 per cent of respondents saying that they need more flexibility in their role than they currently have.

Nissim added: “We need to increase the support that women have when it comes to truly understanding their pension savings, and on top of this, we need to start to make changes in the workplace that will make a dent on the 37.9 per cent deficit that looms over women as they approach retirement.

“That over 50 per cent of women will need to keep working beyond requirement is a huge wake-up call to the true impact that this pensions gap is having on women’s lives.”

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