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.

Notes to editors

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

Age CategoryMean IncomeAge CategoryMean Income
Under 2015,900Under 2015,100
75 and over25,80075 and over20,400
**Career break calculations applied between the ages of 28 and 33 for illustrative purposes.

More information

Samantha Gould – NOW: Pensions
Instinctif Partners
Fenella CuthbertCicero/AMO
Tel: 0207 947 5327