Pensions 

Pension gap UK postcode lottery revealed

Pension gap UK postcode lottery revealed

UK women face retirement with 40 per cent less income than men, with the biggest difference in Southern Scotland (48 per cent) and the smallest in London (26 per cent), according to research.

The study, conducted by advice firm Profile Pensions among a sample of 9,446 customers, revealed a gender pensions gap fuelled by sexes specific job roles and salary disparity between men and women, among other factors.

Region

Male pension pot (Average)

Female pension pot (Average)

Percentage difference

North Scotland

£38,548

£20,414

- 47%

Southern Scotland

£36,836

£19,039

- 48%

North East

£36,729

£21,457

- 42%

North West

£37,840

£22,769

- 40%

Wales

£33,924

£22,281

- 34%

West Midlands

£39,219

£26,915

- 31%

East Midlands

£40,183

£23,504

- 42%

East Anglia

£44,752

£24,987

- 44%

Central Southern

£46,922

£25,080

- 47%

South West

£35,148

£20,828

- 41%

South East

£46,578

£26,654

- 43%

Greater London

£46,409

£34,347

- 26%

Northern Island

£31,718

£20,136

- 37%

Nationwide

£39,554

£ 23,792

- 40%

According to Michelle Gribbin, chief investment officer at Profile Pensions, the research findings "are stark but not surprising".

She said: "The reasons for the gender pension gap are well documented and hundreds of years in the making, from traditional gender-specific roles to the ongoing discrepancy between the salaries of men and women.

"Although the last 50 years have seen huge strides in the financial status of women, clearly we are still battling against an unequal legacy and steps need to be taken to make sure the gap narrows.

"Our findings are a timely reminder that women need to take action, as early as possible, to make sure that they are facing retirement confident that they have enough money to live on."

Gem Durham, independent financial adviser at Obsidian, agrees with Ms Gribbin.

She said: "This problem will continue until wage disparity disappears. And I can never truly see that happening unless there is a massive shift in the way we care for children - there has been a lot of change granted, but still the majority of care and household tasks are carried out by women."

Ms Durham argued that in an ideal world, those tasks "would be very valued by society and the government would pay additional pension to those people who gave up years of working, or worked part time to perform caring duties".

She added: "We now have auto-enrolment, which will not address the pension gap between the sexes, but it will go some way to bolstering both genders lack of savings. 

"Starting to save as soon as possible, and as young as possible, will have a big effect on both genders eventual retirement pots.  Easier said than done, when most of the population is struggling to get on the housing ladder or living hand to mouth."

maria.espadinha@ft.com

Comments