Defined Contribution 

Pension freedoms advice gender gap revealed

Pension freedoms advice gender gap revealed

The number of men accessing financial advice is almost the triple the number of women speaking to an adviser, according to data from Selectapension.

The investment and planning software firm based its research on all cases analysed by its money purchase tool since 2015 – when pension freedoms were introduced - concluding that just 28 per cent of all cases were for women, while 72 per cent were for men.

According to Peter Bradshaw, director at Selectapension, there is a significant divergence between genders, indicating that there is likely to be a significant advice gap when it comes to women reviewing all the retirement options available to them.

 

Date

Female

Male

01.06.15 to 31.05.16

27%

73%

01.06.16 to 31.05.17

29%

71%

01.06.17 to 31.05.18

29%

71%

Despite the gender gap, there isn't a disparity in age, with the majority of subjects aged 53 and 54-years-old.

Selectapension's money purchase tool allows financial advisers to provide their clients with an analysis of the consolidation of multiple defined contribution pension schemes, or calculating existing scheme projections and multiple ages when required, among other features.

Additionally, men have considerably higher transfer values compared to their female counterparts, at a total of £17bn and £5bn, respectively. 

Date

Female

Male

01.06.15 - 31.05.16

£1.4bn

£5.2bn

01.06.16 - 31.05.17

£1.7bn

£5.9bn

01.06.17 - 31.05.18

£1.8bn

£6.1bn

TOTAL

£5bn

£17.2bn

The shortfall in the take-up of financial advice and subsequent difference in transfer values "make it clear that more needs to be done to encourage women to take advice and make an informed decision about their finances as they approach retirement, Mr Bradshaw said.

He said: "Despite the regular press and media coverage about the gender gap, not much has changed in the last three years.

"Increased messaging around early pension saving is helpful, but there needs to be a greater focus on women in the middle of their careers to help them engage with financial advice. 

"Beyond transfers and consolidating pension pots, an adviser can provide holistic planning by reviewing all clients' assets including Isas, investment bonds and savings plans, which can be used to meet varying needs at retirement."

Recent research from Prudential showed that despite the expected retirement income for women hitting a record high, they will still be £4,900 worse off than men if they retire this year.

Gem Durham, independent financial adviser at Obsidian, said that she doesn't see such a gender gap between her clients.

However, she believes that this is due to her being a female as well, as women search for female financial advisers when looking for advice.

She said: "The generation which is now in retirement is quite split; some women are very financially aware and switched on, but quite a few are still letting men take the lead and have never considered the family finances or retirement income. 

"I think they are probably the last generation who has this mindset, and financial decisions are now much more of a joint affair. 

"Women are having careers, and getting married and having children later – this means that some will have reasonable assets, perhaps a home and a reasonable pension pot, already built up before they even get married."

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