Tuesday, 20 March 2018 12:25

AJ Bell highlights gender gap ‘retirement apartheid’

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New research by Sipp provider AJ Bell has revealed that the gender pay gap extends to pension freedoms.

The average annual withdrawal made by women using the pension freedoms was less than half that made by men - £4,100 for women, compared to £8,500 for men, the study showed. 

AJ Bell says this was because the value of personal pensions held by people either approaching or already in retirement is £104,000, but the gender gap was “significant.” 

It was found that men had personal pension savings worth £143,000 on average, compared to £59,000 for women.

The disparity in levels of pension savings meant significantly fewer women (63%) felt in control of their retirement income than men (77%), according to the research. 


Key findings from the survey of 1,500 British adults aged 50 to 70, conducted on 28 February to 7 March, showed that:

• Withdrawals made by women were less than half those made by men
• There remains a significant knowledge void surrounding the new rules
• Most people felt in control of their retirement savings but still worried about having enough to live comfortably during retirement

The firm said there were still “huge numbers” of people who had never heard of pension freedoms and the Government was faced with “a huge education challenge”.

Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said: “While the disparity in salary and bonus levels between men and women is slowly beginning to get the coverage and political attention it deserves, the retirement apartheid between the sexes remains comparatively ignored.

“There is no doubt that, when it comes to pensions, women have long been second-class citizens in the UK.”

He added: “These women face a battle to increase their pension contributions as much as they possibly can in order to boost their retirement savings.

“The reality for many is they are going to have to work for longer before they can afford to start drawing down their pension.”


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Last modified on Tuesday, 20 March 2018 12:34
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