Women are paid less, save less, are less likely to benefit from employer contributions to pension schemes, the Association of British Insurers confirms in new research.
Women are also more likely to have broken working records because of time off to care for children, and are more likely to spend money on their children when they do.
Unsurprisingly, the ABI says this means millions of women face poverty in retirement.
Of those who do save some money, about 4.5 million do not save enough, while a similar number again do not save at all, according to ABI estimates.
Some 35% of women do not belong to a company pension scheme against 25% of men.
More than half contribute less than £100 per month, while just 9% receive employer contributions of more than 5% of salary against 15% of men.
More than 8-in-10 retired women have incomes of less than £1,000 per month, against just 58% of men.
To encourage pension savings among women, the ABI calls for a decent state pension without complex means-testing coupled with more access to financial advice and greater employer contributions.
However, despite mentioning the fact women earn less and live longer than men, the ABI does not flag up its opposition to unisex annuities as a possible reason for lack of savings by women.
That perceived threat to life and non-life insurers across the European Union was seen off after member states dropped a directive first proposed by previous social affairs commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou.
According to other research this opposition may yet be broken down.
The Equal Opportunities Commission this summer published research carried out by the Pensions Policy Institute, which found “neither side of the argument has been made conclusively” for or against unisex annuities.
That research concluded unisex annuities would most likely come about because of challenges under employment law.
”In the USA and Canada, any annuity bought directly with the proceeds of an employer-sponsored Defined Contribution pension fund must be unisex because of this. If a similar approach was taken in the UK, unisex annuities would become compulsory for Defined Contribution occupational pension schemes, currently representing up to one-third of the UK annuity market. Unisex annuities are also used within the state pension system in the UK and Sweden.”IFAonline
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