The number of women saving adequately for retirement has hit a seven year high according to the Scottish Widows' Women and Pensions report.
In 2011 50% of women were saving adequately compared to 43% in 2010.
The report highlighted a growing generational gap with 56% women aged over 51 saving adequately for retirement compared to 46% of women aged between 30-50 years old.
The findings contrast with the 2010 report, where only a third of older women were planning for the future. And six out of ten women in this age group (57%) believed in 2010 they were not preparing adequately for their retirement, a significant change revealed by this year's survey.
Head of pensions market development at Scottish Widows, Ian Naismith said these women "seem to have got the message" of the need to build retirement funds. He attributed the optimism to women in public sector roles "realising what a good pension they've got", evidence that more women over 50s were choosing to invest in ISAs and equity backed investments, and a growing realization that the government alone would not provide the level of income needed in retirement.
Additionally, older women were putting away £122 a month on average for retirement (£1,464 a year), using a combination of pensions and investments, double the monthly amounts saved by the younger generation.
Despite these changes, men are continuing to save more than women, as much as £700 a year on average, due to higher incomes. Naismith explained, more needed to be done for women to "bring them up to reach the same savings levels as men. Women often give higher financial priority to family as opposed to their pension. While this is laudable, they need to ensure that they give enough priority to providing for their own retirements."
Alongside personal savings, employer pension schemes remain a popular source of retirement income. 41% of women over 50 rating them as important, compared with 29% of women aged 18-30. Yet auto-enrolment would prove more popular with 43% of younger women saying they would not opt out compared to 26% of their older counterparts.
Naismith reinforced the message for pre-retirees to "build as much as you can and think about when you might retire. A lot of women might think they'll retire at 60, but actually could keep going part time for a little longer."
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