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UK Women are receiving 39.5% less in pension income than men


The gender pay gap has become a prominent issue in various countries. However, there is now also an unbalanced pension income between men and women and in the UK, women are currently receiving approximately 39.5% less in pension income than men.


This is obviously a pretty thorny issue but a necessary bridge that we’ll need to cross in order to move forward as a nation with equal retirement opportunities.


This figure comes from a new analysis that shows the difference in pension income is twice as large as the difference in pay between the sexes.


The trade union Prospect analysed responses to the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Family Resources Survey and revealed that the pensions gap in 2016-17 was 39.5% – equating to an approximate average shortfall for women of £7,000 (€7,941) a year.


According to this survey, the level of the gender pay gap was twice as much as it was in 2017 (which was approximately 18.4%).


Prospect’s senior deputy general secretary, Sue Ferns, had this to say about the newly revealed statistics: “It is not acceptable that women are condemned to less comfortable retirements and greater anxiety about finances because of inherent unfairness in the labour market and structural problems in the pension system.”


The issue needs to be recognised as a severe mark of inequality and initiatives need to be set to address it.


Ferns called for the publication of an annual report which would focus on the size of the gap. This may help to build a consensus for action to tackle the issue, she hopes.


“There are also practical steps that government must take such as abolishing the automatic enrolment earnings trigger which disproportionately excludes women from occupational pension scheme membership,” she said.


Prospect suggested that there were alternative steps for dealing with the inequality issue.

A new pension commission can be established and additionally, the trade union also encouraged issuing credits for people who opt out of receiving child benefits and tax relief for low earners in net pay pension schemes.


The UK isn’t the only nation with a troubling pension gap inequality. Europe indicates the same problem throughout. The European Commission’s Pension Adequacy Report 2018, which was published in May, revealed that women in the EU were facing 37% less in pension income than men due to pay gaps and shorter careers.


The difference in average pensions between the sexes in the UK is around 35% and this means that the country has the fourth widest gender pensions gap in the union (after Cyprus, the Netherlands and Germany).


What about the countries that were doing well with regards to solving the inequality issue?

At the other end of the scale, Estonia was considered to have the narrowest gap while Denmark followed with a close second slimmest gap.


Here’s to hoping that the UK can soon rise up above the many aspects of inequality that seem to plague so many nations around the world. Drop me a line today if you agree, It’s time to close the gap!

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