An analysis of NOW: Pensions’ members at the end of 2017 has revealed that women of all ages are more likely to opt out of workplace pension saving compared with men. Nearly one in ten women (9%) opted out compared to 7% of men. As women get older, their propensity to opt out also increases.
Most likely to opt out are 60-64 year old women, as figures show only 62% of this demographic remain in their workplace scheme compared to 70% of men. The overall opt out rate for 60-64 year olds is 33%.
Men aged 22-29 are least likely to opt out of workplace pension saving with just 3% opting out. This compares with 5% of women in the same age group. The overall opt out rate for 22-29 year olds was 4% at the end of 2017.
NOW: Pensions’ opt out rates January – December 2017
Age Band Opt out rate (male) Opt out rate (female) Opt out rate (all)
22-29 3% 5% 4%
30-39 5% 7% 6%
40-49 7% 9% 8%
50-59 12% 15% 13%
60-64 30% 38% 33%
All ages 7% 9% 8%
Troy Clutterbuck, Interim CEO, NOW: Pensions said: “The data shows two clear trends. Firstly, women across all age groups are much more likely to opt out of pension saving than men. Secondly, as people get older, their propensity to save into a workplace pension rapidly declines.
“The reasons for this behaviour are undoubtedly far from simple. It might be that older people think it’s too late or don’t believe there’s any benefit of being in a workplace pension as they get close to retirement. It could be that they already have enough put aside.
“For women, who are more likely to be part time workers and lower earners, it might be that they simply don’t feel they can afford it.
“For these groups, arguably more needs to be done to drive home the value of the employer contribution, tax relief and the tax free lump sum.”