UK regional gender pension gap revealed

The significant gap in pension wealth between men and women in the UK has been revealed by analysis of Family Resources Survey datasets by the trade union Prospect.

It found that England was the UK nation with the largest gender pension gap, with an average difference of 40.6 per cent between men and women.

The nation with the lowest gender pension gap was Northern Ireland, although there was still a difference of 25.2 per cent.

Wales had a gap of 38.9 per cent and Scotland had a gap of 38.2 per cent, while the average difference in the UK as a whole was 39.4 per cent.

Regionally, the south-west of England had the largest gender pension gap, with an average of 46.9 per cent, closely followed by the south-east and north-west with differences of 41.9 per cent and 41.5 per cent respectively.

The English regions with the smallest gap were the East Midlands and Yorks & the Humber, with average differences of 34.3 per cent and 36 per cent respectively.

Prospect senior deputy general secretary, Sue Ferns, commented: “These figures show that the gender pension gap is a problem in every part of the UK and further demonstrate the need for action to address it.”

The regional gender pension gap figures can all be broken down into a relatively low gender gap in state pension income and a much higher gender gap in private pension income.

Ferns added: “It’s important to draw the right conclusions from this data. A low gender pension gap may simply be a result of relatively low levels of private sector pension income in that region.

“Clearly low levels of private pension income are nothing to celebrate. It’s important to tackle the gender pension gap the right way, by measures that actually boost pension entitlement for women.

“One of the best ways of doing this is through better recognition of caring responsibilities in the pension system.”

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