Over two-fifths of women unsure how much is in their pension

Over two-fifths (42 per cent) of women in the UK do not know how much they have saved for retirement, compared to just a quarter (25 per cent) of men, research from Fidelity International has found.

This proportion increased further amongst those approaching retirement, with 44 per cent of women aged 55 and over unaware how much is in their pension pot.

This is perhaps unsurprising given that almost a quarter (24 per cent) are also unsure as to how much they’re saving towards their pension each month, compared to 13 per cent of men who shared the same uncertainty.

Furthermore, 13 per cent of women admitted that they are not making any regular pension contributions at all, compared to 10 per cent of men.

Despite this, almost half (49 per cent) of women were concerned that they will not have enough money in their pension to fund the retirement lifestyle they would like.

The findings have also prompted industry concerns that without greater engagement with retirement planning, women will face a further widening of an “already glaring” pension gap.

However, almost half (46 per cent) of women stated that they are not able to put more into their pension because they do not have available funds, whilst 21 per cent stated that other savings priorities take precedence.

It also found that a further 17 per cent are simply unsure how best to save for the future.

Commenting on the findings, Fidelity International investment director, Maike Currie, emphasised that women already face a "myriad of saving challenges from the so-called ‘motherhood penalty’, to the ‘good daughter penalty’ and of course the gender pay gap".

She continued: “While these factors are challenging, often they’re beyond our control. What we can control, however, is how much we are putting into our pensions.

“There are still too many women who don’t know how much they’re contributing to their pension, how much is in that pension pot, and crucially whether it will be enough to fund the retirement they choose.

“Industry, government and women themselves need to step up to ensure women are informed and equipped with the right tools, guidance and advice to prepare for retirement and ensure financial independence.”

The findings were released as part of Fidelity International's Global Women and Money study and also included global comparisons, which revealed that 58 per cent of women in Japan are unsure how much they have saved for retirement, while 44 per cent were unsure in Germany, and just 9 per cent were unsure in Hong Kong.

“Our research shows that many of the barriers women face when it comes to retirement planning, as well as worries about having enough money in retirement, are common across the world,” Currie added.

“This is a challenge that extends beyond the UK and highlights just how important it is to support women to plan for the future.”

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