Pension Income Gulf Is Worsening For Women

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The pension income gap is widening – with women having more than £80 a week less to spend than men.

New research shows that retirement income for single women averages £316 a week, while the average single man has £401.

In the past 10 years, the gap has widened from £31 a week to £85 a week, says a study by pension provider Royal London.

Over that time, retirement income has increased by 7% for women, but 23% for men.

Shocking surge

The company explained two main factors are driving the financial gulf between men and women:

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  • In real terms, women’s earnings have dropped from by £2 a week over the past decade, while men’s wages have gone up by £20 a week.
  • Occupational pension payments for men have increased faster than those for women over the decade. While women’s weekly pensions have risen from £58 to £81, men’s have gone up from £83 to £125.

Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London said: “These figures reveal a shocking surge in the gap between men and women when it comes to living standards in retirement.

“Having a decent occupational pension and the potential to top up pensions with earnings are the two key factors in having a good income past pension age.

“Much more needs to be done to tackle the disadvantages faced by women in the later life jobs market as well as doing more to ensure women are building up better pensions in the future.”

Pay gap probe

Meanwhile, Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the gender pay gap for executives in private businesses.

The probe will look at what the causes of the gap and how to deal with companies that breach reporting guidelines.

Committee chair Rachel Reeves said: “Excessive executive pay and gaps in gender pay are at root an issue of fairness.

“Pay awards for top bosses which vastly outstrip worker pay and which owe little to building genuine long-term value in a company are impossible to justify and damage the social contract between business and the public.

Unjustified executive pay awards are the most corrosive influence on public trust in business and businesses must face up to their responsibilities and tackle this problem.”

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