Pensions  

Education sector best for women’s pension contributions

Education sector best for women’s pension contributions

Education is the only industry where women receive higher pension contributions than men, according to analysis of government figures.

Analysis from Profile Pensions, published yesterday (July 26), found that in the education sector average pension contributions were 9.3 per cent for women compared with 7.9 per cent for men.

The findings were based on the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, published in April, which provides annual estimates of the proportion of UK employees in employer contribution bands.

According to the data, men received an average of 4.6 per cent in pension contributions from their employer compared with 4.4 per cent for women.

In the manufacturing industry, men received 0.9 per cent more in contributions than women who were given 4.4 per cent. 

In the electricity and gas sector men received 3.2 per cent more in contributions on average at 7.4 per cent, compared with 4.2 per cent for women.

The analysis also revealed that in the financial services and insurance sector, employer pension contributions averaged 9.5 per cent (£2,341), the highest among industries offering defined contribution pensions, based on an average salary of £24,765 in the sector.

The education sector came second with average contributions of 9.3 per cent (£2,054), with an average salary of £22,146.

The worst performing sector was agriculture, forestry and fishing whose average contributions were 2 per cent (£589) with an average salary of £29,451. This was followed by accommodation and food services which contributed 2.1 per cent (£481) with average earnings of £22,646.

According to Profile Pensions, the average employer contribution is currently 4.5 per cent on average earnings of £29,009 which equates to an average yearly employer contribution of £1,305.

In 2018, more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of UK employees were members of a workplace pension scheme, according to the ONS statistics. 

This was an increase of 3 per cent compared with 2017 and a 25 per cent increase when compared with 10 years earlier (2008) when about half (51 per cent) of all UK employees were members of a workplace pension scheme.

But contributions are still low, with almost half of private sector employers with DC schemes contributing less than 2 per cent of pensionable earnings in 2017.

This figure compares with 6 per cent in 2012.

amy.austin@ft.com

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