Pension pots are a cause for concern – as research reveals men have £20k more to fund retirement than women. A poll of 1,200 working adults, aged 50 and over, found men have an average pot of £63,222 stowed away ready for retirement – while women have only £43,117.
And now, 56 percent of women are worried they won’t be able to afford the retirement they had always hoped for, compared to just 44 percent of men.
Of the women polled, 30 percent have taken more than two years off work for maternity leave and childcare – which subsequently means pension contributions could have fallen by the wayside.
But when they were away from the workplace, 69 percent of these did not consider how this might affect their pension down the line.
Recent financial pressures are also impacting pension contributions, as 55 percent of women said the rising cost of living is outpacing their investments and pension savings – leaving 16 percent of women feeling like they won’t be able to retire at all.
The research was commissioned by Skipton Building Society, to mark the launch of its free Pension Health Check Service for members.
Helen McGinty, the building society’s head of financial advice distribution, said: “This data confirms what we suspected – that there is a clear gender imbalance when it comes to our pensions.
“Whether that’s because of a systemic gender pay gap, or the simple truth that many working mums have had to take time away from earning, it’s a reality that everyone should be alert to.
“But as with many things in life, knowledge is power – and it really pays to know what your pension looks like, and if you’re on track for the retirement you dream of.
“Particularly for the women out there who may be at risk of a pension that falls short, it’s important to be realistic about how time away from work might have affected your pension.”
The research went on to find one in three with concerns about the affordability of their retirement, fear they will be too old to do the things they enjoy when they eventually finish working life.
And 23 percent of these cited salary as an issue – as they expected to be earning more at this stage of their career.
Aside from childcare, one in five working women have also taken other significant breaks away from the workplace, compared to just 14 percent of men.
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And currently, men’s monthly savings outpace women’s – as these male workers are aiming to save an average of £296, while women are saving £193.
In fact, the cost-of-living crisis has had more of a bearing on women’s longer term financial goals, according to the research, conducted via OnePoll.
It found that 39 percent of women say rising costs have had a significant impact, while only 30 percent of men have experienced a similar effect.
Helen McGinty, from Skipton Building Society, which is also offering a free initial consultation for pension planning, added: “With costs rising and savings getting stretched, those with one eye on their retirement have every right to be concerned.
“That’s why it is so important at any age to take the initiative, be in control, and plan ahead.
“Be aware of the decisions you are making, and how they may impact your financial future – if you need to, increase contributions to combat those gaps in earnings.
“After a life spent working hard, contributing to the system, and raising children, everyone deserves the right to a comfortable retirement.”
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