Later Life  

Report points to inequality in later life

Finally they pointed to “a real problem” with the lack of studies on people's living environment.

While studies generally focus on the neighbourhood environment, a lack of research in housing inequalities for older people creates a real problem in understanding fully how poor housing affects those in later life, the group stated.

The Centre for Ageing Better called on the government and employers to help tackle the perceived inequalities.

It called for action to enable women to return to the labour market after having children, which should also include increasing the quality, affordability and availability of childcare, and helping carers stay in work, the charity stated. 

State pension and auto-enrolment schemes should also cease to penalise those without an uninterrupted, full time employment history, it said.

Claire Turner, director of evidence at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: "A good later life is something we should expect for everyone. It should not be conditional on where we live or how much money we have, nor on our gender, race, disability or sexuality. 

"Helping current older people and protecting future generations from this shameful level of inequality in health and wealth should be at the heart of policy making across health, housing, work and pensions."

The Treasury is currently running an initiative to achieve gender equality in the workplace in financial services.

The Women in Finance Charter is part of a package of government reforms to improve gender equality in the work place.

These include a £5m fund for ‘returnships’ and mandatory reporting on the gender pay gap from April this year.

Meanwhile, a group of women is planning legal action against the government over changes to women's state pension age.

Waspi claims that while the 1995 Conservative government's Pension Act included plans to increase the women’s state pension age to 65 – the same as men's – but the changes were implemented unfairly, with little or no personal notice.

The group also claimed that the changes were implemented faster than promised with the 2011 Pension Act and left women with no time to make alternative plans, leading to devastating consequences.

carmen.reichman@ft.com