Quarter of women over 50 have less than £5,000 in their pension

The average woman over 50 has around half as much in their pension pot (£43,014) as their male counterpart (£82,311), according to Legal & General (L&G) Retail Retirement.

Additionally, the research revealed that a quarter of women over 50 had less than £5,000 in their pension, compared to just 15 per cent of men in the same age group.

The provider's analysis of the most recently available data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also showed that 56 per cent of men below state pension age had active private pensions, compared to 51 per cent of women.

L&G Retail Retirement argued that this had left women more likely to be unsure about their ability to fund their retirement, with 56 per cent believing that they do not have enough to fund their desired living standard, compared to 43 per cent of men.

This is despite women expecting, on average, to receive a 15 per cent smaller income than men once they retire, with women also less likely to be aware of the current value of their pensions, at 34 per cent compared to 27 per cent of men.

The data showed that men had a higher level of cash savings, with men over 50 having average of £40,167 in savings, compared to £29,327 for women, which L&G Retail Retirement also highlighted as a contributing factor to overarching financial security.

Commenting on the findings, L&G Retail Retirement CEO, Andrew Kail, said: “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.

“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.

“We need to do more to address this financial inequality but also to address the root causes that influence it, specifically the significant burdens our society places on women outside of their careers.”

Whilst the group noted that women have higher participation in occupational defined benefit pensions, 28 per cent compared to 25 per cent for men, it clarified that this is likely linked to the fact that the majority of these schemes are public sector pensions, with women making up just over two-thirds of public sector employees in the UK in 2017.

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