Last week, I spent time with a friend who had worked a full professional life, but recently retired. When asking her about her travel plans, she admitted that while she would like to go abroad, she no longer had the money – her pension simply wasn’t enough for the life she’d envisioned for herself. She is not alone. The insurer Aegon found British women have pension savings of just £24,900 – far less than £73,600 men accumulate.
While there will be gender based disparities in pension provision globally, the UK’s gap is one of the largest gaps in Europe. Certainly, the new legal requirement for employers to set up pensions has been a boon. Now 69% of women in full-time employment have a pension – nearing the 70% rate of men. But women have to do much more to ensure they’ll have sufficient savings for the longer lives they lead on average, and the greater share of sharing responsibilities they shoulder. It’s not surprising a greater number of women live out their retirement in poverty than men – especially when they’ve prioritised their children and others first.