Overcoming the gender pensions gap

Women are saving more than ever into pensions, but they still lag behind men in retirement savings.

The good news is that the proportion of women who are now saving for their retirement has increased, along with their level of contributions, according to a recent report from pension provider Scottish Widows, which has tracked women’s pensions for the last 15 years.

Most of us are familiar with the gender pay gap. The idea of a “gender pension gap”, which sees women retire on far smaller pensions, is less well known. Although it is narrowing, equality is a long way off. Scottish Widows found that while 57% of women were now saving enough for their retirement, self-employed women and those in lower earnings brackets remain under-prepared for their retirement. Men are still saving more and benefiting generally from an additional £78,000 in their pension pot at retirement.

Why Is There A Pensions Gap?


The main cause of the pension gap, unsurprisingly, is the pay gap. Women, on average, still earn less than men. Most people pay a fixed percentage of their earnings into a workplace pension, so this means less money is being invested for women’s retirement.

The fact that women are more likely to work part-time, or to take time out to look after young children or elderly parents, exacerbates the problem. Other life events, like divorce, can also impact negatively on women’s savings.

At the same time, women typically live longer than men, so if they are to enjoy the same standard of living in retirement, they ideally need larger pension pots – not smaller ones.

How To Boost Your Pension Savings

Some strategies can help bolster women’s savings options:

Maximise your savings

Join a workplace pension – your contributions are boosted by tax relief and contributions from your employer, which may increase if you pay in more. If you are self-employed, you don’t benefit from an employer’s contribution, but you can still benefit from tax relief on the money saved into a personal pension arrangement.

"women typically live longer than men... to enjoy the same standard of living in retirement, they need larger pension pots – not smaller ones"


Get a pension forecast

Find out what you are likely to get from your State or workplace pension and when you can take them. If this isn’t enough to live on, you should aim to save more each month. The earlier you start, the better.

Don’t overlook your partner’s pension: Some pensions will pay out to a surviving spouse or partner. If you are not married (or not in a civil partnership) you may need to sign a form to qualify. If your partner has more substantial pensions savings, make sure you aren’t losing out on this potentially valuable benefit. Aim to build pension savings in your own name, though, because if you rely on your partner, then you could lose out if the relationship breaks down.

Please pick up the phone and give us a call on 0208 515 1200 if you are worried or would like some advice or drop us a line at info@dukegodley.co.uk and one of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.



Important Information

The value of investments, and the income derived from them, can go down as well as up and you can get back less than you originally invested.

Issued by Duke Godley Financial planning Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA Number 629938

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