Retirement saving for women is falling well short of the sums men have set aside at the same age, says a new report.
A 65-year-old woman has an average pension pot of £35,800.
But that’s just a fifth of what a man of the same age has saved, according to the Chartered Insurance Institute research.
Although women live longer than men and have access to better education and career opportunities than ever before, the gender pay gap is still a major drag on their ability to save for retirement.
The report points out that £35,800 is just a fraction of how much a women needs to fund a comfortable retirement – especially as average end-of-life café costs can add up to around £132,000.
The institute has a task force that aims to improve pension and the finances of women in the insurance and personal finance sector.
Part of the work involves helping younger women in the profession realise earlier in life that they need to save for retirement.
The task force also wants to see financially inclusive flexible working to help carers and parents build better careers .
CEO Sian Fisher said: “Women’s lives and freedoms have changed for the better, yet society’s expectations of women have not.
Poverty in old age
“The serious financial disadvantage women face in old age cannot be attributed to any one factor but is a combination of societal, health and financial factors stacked against them.
“Women are living longer, however, care costs them more at the end of their lives. Women are succeeding in the workplace and the gender pay gap is hopefully closing but caring for family, even for just a few short years, significantly impacts a woman at retirement. It is the culmination of all these factors that is potentially driving women towards to poverty in old age.
“By 2020, 12 million people will be above the State Pension Age and, of these, there will be a million more women than men. Insurance and financial planning have a central role in supporting people to manage their financial risks in life.”