Women’s pension pots ‘worth half of mens’

Women’s pension savings in the UK have been found to lag behind that of men, a recent study shows. With the average pension pot for women standing at £37,000.

The comparison with male pensions find women’s savings are dwarfed, with men’s pensions average around £75,000. It was also found that men are ‘more likely to manage their own pensions’ than women.

Independent research conducted on behalf of Handelsbanken Wealth & Asset Management on gender and the wealth gap. Nearly a third of women were found to have pensions below £25,000 and only one in 10 women have a pension exceeding £100,000, whole this is true for nearly a third of men.

Overall, just a third of adults are confident that they will retire comfortably, according to the research and there is a general lack of awareness about the value of a pension among a third of women surveyed. This is something Handelsbanken have claimed ‘could prove detrimental to their ability to make informed decisions about their retirement savings’.

The research found that overall, women are less likely to have pension savings of any kind. Just 71% of women over the age of 40 hold a pension pot, versus 83% of men. This does improve among younger age groups, however, with 80% of women in their 30s having a pension, compared to 82% men – suggesting we may be seeing progress among the younger generations.

The gender disparity unsurprisingly persists with confidence about stability during retirement, with 38% of men expressing confidence in their future, compared to only 27% of women. Lack of awareness may play a role in this, with a quarter of people overall stating that they do not feel their employer is helpful in explaining their workplace pension and post-retirement planning.

The research also highlighted who tends to be in charge of managing personal pensions. The largest share of respondents (38%) reported that their workplace managed their pensions, followed by those who oversee it themselves (28%). Men are more likely to manage their pensions independently compared to women (33% versus 23%).

Christine Ross, Head of Private Office (North) & Client Director at Handelsbanken Wealth & Asset Management commented on the findings, saying:

“This report serves as a stark reminder of the gender gap in UK pension savings, and the urgent need to address it. Women are considerably less likely than men to have pensions and, on average, accumulate substantially less in their pension pots, placing them at greater risk of financial insecurity in their retirement years.

“It’s especially important that older generations of women are supported in narrowing the gap in retirement savings.

“While some progress may be evident among younger generations, work remains to ensure women have equal opportunities to build adequate retirement savings, and that younger people are getting the right advice when it comes to retirement savings. It’s vital that young men and women alike are encouraged to engage with pension planning earlier to make the most of the potential for long-term growth, rather than putting off retirement savings in favour of shorter-term priorities.”

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