The gender pay gap is a hot topic, but an even bigger gap can be seen with pension income. The average pension for a woman is about 38% less than that of a man.
Across the UK two-thirds of industries show women have built up pensions worth less than half as much as men. And the average fund size for a woman is £100,000 less.
Why is this happening?
There isn’t just one answer to this question. There are many reasons for the disparity in the levels of pension for females and males including:
- the gender pay gap – this can partly explain why some women are in receipt of lower pension at retirement. However, the pension gap is around two times more than the pay gap so this can be only one contributing factor.
- caring responsibilities and career breaks – this can be seen across the UK as women will traditionally take full care responsibilities for children. This is both during parental leave and working reduced hours to support with childcare when parental leave ends.
- pension scheme design – automatic enrolment schemes, for instance, can partly explain the reason for the gap. Employers don’t have to provide for lower earners which may be as a result of the pay gap or due to caring responsibilities.
- Nation Insurance (NI) – historically the difference in NI has resulted in lower State Pensions being paid to women, on average.
How do Siemens stack up?
Siemens is in a similar position to other companies. We found in our most recent review that the current fund values for males are roughly 34% higher than that of females, despite similar contribution rates (in % terms) and years of service.
What can you do?
It’s important not to take a back seat when it comes to your financial situation. Take control of your finances and your savings. The first step might be to enhance your education when it comes to pensions and savings.
The Pensions Awareness website has a number of shows available this week, from explaining pension basics to budgeting and financial matters. On Wednesday 2 November there will be a webinar on how women can better their retirement at 3pm. We strongly encourage you to attend this and any others you may find useful this week.
You can also read up on your personal pension here on our My Pension website and also on Trafalgar Houses’ My Work Pension website. Please do speak to us if you have any questions about your pension with the Siemens Benefits Scheme.
- https://www.tuc.org.uk/ article ‘Gender pensions gap means retired women go the equivalent of four and a half months each year without a pension – TUC’ – 19 May 2022
- Siemens Triennial Strategy Review
- Women and retirement report 2021 – Scottish Widows
- Achieving gender equality in pensions – Prospect 2021