PensionsFeb 8 2023

DWP considers regular reporting on gender pension gap

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DWP considers regular reporting on gender pension gap
Pensions Minister Laura Trott has said the department will continually monitor take up of Pension Wise and will “take action to encourage appropriate use of the service”
ByJane Matthews

The Department for Work and Pensions is considering regularly reporting on the gender pension gap in order to bring more attention to the issue, the pensions minister has said.

Laura Trott was responding to a letter from chair of the work and pensions committee Stephen Timms in which he asked the government to outline the timescales for the DWP’s plans in relation to later life saving.

In Trott's response, published earlier this week (February 6), she said the government is currently working with stakeholders to understand the scale of the gender pension gap.

In addition to considering regular reporting, she noted that the DWP is aiming to find a “suitable definition” of the gender pension gap.

This would be to allow for the development of a metric for measuring progress on reducing it. 

Trott’s letter also stressed her commitment to implementing the recommendations of the 2017 review of automatic enrolment in the mid-2020s.

She said the government will bring forward legislation on this “when parliamentary time allows” and that it remains committed to carrying out a consultation on its implementation.

Trott wrote: “As I set out in my recent speech on 30th January at the PLSA, adequacy of retirement income will be central to my strategy for pensions reform.”

Stronger nudge

In his letter, Timms asked the minister  to provide a timeline for when the government plans to complete an evaluation of the stronger nudge initiative and whether it has had the desired effect of increasing people seeking guidance from Pension Wise.

Responding to this, Trott said the department will continually monitor take up of Pension Wise and will “take action to encourage appropriate use of the service”.

However, she said it would not be practical to try to accurately isolate the impact of the stronger nudge. 

Trott said: “The key is not whether someone attended an appointment but the decisions they took off the back of it. However, we will monitor a variety of metrics along with other sources of feedback on effectiveness of stronger nudge and other efforts to increase appropriate use of Pension Wise. 

"This will include working closely with Maps who are undertaking a review of the experience of those who have been ‘nudged’ to its services.

"This will identify possible improvements to the delivery of the stronger nudge. I will of course ask Maps to share the results of this work and any proposed solutions with the committee.

Her letter also outlined that the department has begun engagement with the Ministry of Justice and His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service on pension sharing in divorce.

Trott said she is seeking to understand the barriers to producing regular statistics on pension sharing.