Pay rise gender disparity could lead to further increase in gender pension gap

Disparities in pay rises could lead to further increases to the gender pension gap to £142,603, according to research by Fidelity International.

Analysis from Fidelity found that 50 per cent of men have asked for a pay rise at some stage in their career, with 25 per cent making more than one request within their working lifetime.

In contrast, 37 per cent of women have asked for a pay rise in their career, with only 12 per cent making subsequent requests.

The disparity remained when it came to the amount gained from raises as Fidelity reported that, if their request is successful, men received an average £2,017 increase compared to £1,284 for women, representing a gap of £733.

This gap can have repercussions on pension contributions, Fidelity stated.

It gave an example of a 25-year-old man on an average salary of £37,817, as recorded by the Office for National Statistics, who receives a pay rise of £2,017 every five years throughout his career, could see his salary grow to £75,748 by retirement age.

In comparison, a 25-year-old woman’s average salary of £25,066 would only grow to £49,683 if she received a pay rise of £1,284 every 5 years.

Fidelity’s model, based upon assumed workplace pension contributions of 8 per cent of salary, revealed that this disparity in pay rises could, over time, leave men with £142,603 more in their pension pots compared to women.

Fidelity International investment director, Maike Currie, commented: “The factors that contribute to the gender pension gap are numerous and varied.

“But from our modelling it’s clear that even modest amounts can have a big impact over time.
“The difference in regular pay rises – especially when also considering inflationary rises – is stark, with women’s pension pots on average left thousands of pounds short.

“Women typically have longer life expectancies meaning their pension pots need to stretch further, but lower pay, smaller pay rises, and career breaks all combine to create a significant shortfall.

“It’s imperative that more is done to support women with their finance and pension savings.”

As part of its modelling, Fidelity also analysed how the gender pay gap widens when women take a break from their career.

A woman taking a five-year career break during her thirties will reach retirement with a pot of £217,610 - almost £60,000 less than a woman who stayed in full time employment throughout her career.

The gender pension gap grows to £201,396 should a woman take a five-year career break.

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