Women and workplace pensions: the short straw

Women are more likely than men to have more than one job – which means they are more likely to miss out on having an auto-enrolled workplace pension.

Although tens of thousands of workers earn over £10,000 (the threshold for auto-enrolment), they are not gaining this income from a single job, which means that they are ineligible for a workplace pension according to a Citizen’s Advice Study. Most of these people are women – 72,000 of them in fact. Even if they don’t miss out on a workplace pension all together, they may well get less. Add this to the recent changes to state pension age, and it seems like a pretty raw deal all round.

A study by Zurich found that between 2013 and 2016, women received contributions worth 7% of salary, while men got 7.8%. This was attributed to the fact that men tend to work in sectors with more established and generous schemes, while women often suffered adverse effects from taking career breaks such as maternity leave or studying.

The government has said that it plans to look at the issue later in the year, when it reviews the auto-enrolment programme. These statistics further cement the need for people to think about long term financial planning as a potential £47,000 shortfall is not insignificant.


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