Gender pay gap damages pension prospects for women


Analysis conducted by NOW: Pensions has revealed that women aged 25 will accumulate a workplace pension that is 20% less than men by the age of 65 based on auto enrolment minimum contributions. If they take a five-year career break, they will accumulate a pot which is 33% smaller than male counterparts.

Currently 25-year-old women have, on average, £197.05 saved with NOW: Pensions versus £213.85 for men of the same age.

In 40 years’ time, following auto enrolment minimum contributions and taking into account mean salaries for men and women over their working lives, these funds will have grown to £50,514 for men and £40,332 for women.*

If a 5-year career break is applied**, this figure falls to £33,986.02 for women – 33% less than men.

Commenting on the analysis, Amy Mankelow Director of Communications at NOW: Pensions said: “Not only are women losing out during their working lives but they also face a poorer retirement as a result of the persistent gender pay gap.

“Auto enrolment does little to address this inequality as millions of women are excluded from saving altogether as they earn less than the £10,000 auto enrolment trigger. This means that a large proportion of part-time workers, who are much more likely to be women, don’t have the opportunity to save in the first place.

“We want government to remove the £10,000 auto enrolment trigger to give more women the opportunity to save.”

According to a report by the Pensions Policy Institute commissioned by NOW: Pensions, over three quarters (77%) of employees earning less than the auto enrolment trigger are women. Over 50% of part-time workers earn less than the auto enrolment trigger and 81% of part-time workers are women.

The report estimates that 3 million individuals would become eligible for auto enrolment if the earnings trigger was removed.

–     ENDS     –

For further information:

Amy Mankelow / Cheriton Lee

NOW: Pensions

Tel: 0203 948 9234 / 0203 948 9236 /


Ben Wright

Cicero Group

020 3841 9333


Notes to editors

*Assumes 3% investment growth. Mean salaries from ONS as follows:

Men Women
Age Category Mean Income Age Category Mean Income
Under 20 15,900 Under 20 15,100
20-24 19,900 20-24 17,500
25-29 26,600 25-29 23,500
30-34 33,800 30-34 27,900
35-39 41,300 35-39 31,000
40-44 48,100 40-44 32,400
45-49 50,300 45-49 31,900
50-54 50,600 50-54 31,000
55-59 47,700 55-59 29,400
60-64 40,600 60-64 26,100
65-69 32,300 65-69 23,000
70-74 27,600 70-74 21,800
75 and over 25,800 75 and over 20,400


**Career break calculations applied between the ages of 28 and 33 for illustrative purposes.

NOW: Pensions @nowpensions

NOW: Pensions is one of the UK’s largest workplace pension providers with over a million members and tens of thousands of employers from a wide range of sectors. A company wholly owned by Danish pension scheme ATP; one of Europe’s largest pension funds. NOW: Pensions entered the UK market in 2011 with a simple and cost-effective workplace pension designed specifically with the auto enrolment market in mind.

NOW: Pensions has a good technical infrastructure combined with a pension product suitable for our team. We couldn’t be happier with NOW: Pensions.
Martin Woods,