Study shows 'significant' gender divide in retirement confidence

Women are significantly less confident in their retirement income than men, according to AJ Bell’s first ever Retirement Income Index.

The index, which assigns a rating that indicates confidence at 50 or above, gave men an average score of 59 and women a score of 49, which AJ Bell said likely reflected the “huge divide in retirement wealth between men and women”.

While it noted that pension income confidence levels were higher among those who had retired, coming in at 68, retired men still exhibited more confidence with a score of 74, compared with female retirees’ score of 63.

AJ Bell argued that the lower confidence levels among retired women could also reflect differences in pension provision, with men almost twice as likely to have generous defined benefit (DB) pensions as women.

AJ Bell senior analyst, Tom Selby, said the overall confidence of the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation was also likely to reflect their higher amount of DB pensions, compared with younger savers who “build up less certain defined contribution (DC) pots and many will still be struggling to get on the housing ladder.”

Of the retirees surveyed, 41 per cent received a DB pension, 21 per cent were taking income from a DC pension and 12 per cent had an annuity.

Selby continued: “With DB schemes all but extinct for new employees in the private sector it will be interesting to see how this split changes over time and what impact that has on people’s confidence in their retirement income.

“Again, we see that levels of confidence between men and women are poles apart, with retired men recording a Retirement Income score of 78 versus 63 for women. This might be because men tend to have larger pension pots than women, but could also be because men are almost twice as likely to have a DB pension than women.”

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