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Pensions not a priority for women

September 2003
    

Pensions not a priority for women says new research  

Women are most at risk of pensioner poverty but more than half don't save more into pensions simply because they haven't got enough spare cash, according to ICM research published today by Age Concern and the Fawcett Society.

 

  •      Even if they were given an extra 100 a month in their pocket, just 1 in 10 women would put it into a pension. Instead 1 in 4 would pay off debts or spend the cash on children. 

  •       Despite rising divorce rates and separation, almost a quarter of all women say they are relying on their partner to provide for them in later life. Even amongst 25 - 34 year-old women, 1 in 5 say they are relying on their partner for a pension. The research also shows that just 3 in 10 women are confident they have a good pension and are saving enough.

  •      Women's irregular work patterns, generally lower pay and caring responsibilities put them at most risk of ending up in poverty. A quarter of single women pensioners already live in poverty and worryingly it seems their daughters and granddaughters could face the same hardship.

 

Age Concern and the Fawcett Society are running a joint campaign to make pensions work for women. Their research shows that women suffer a 'pensions gap' in retirement, with women in a pensioner couple receiving just a third of the income of their partner. The two organisations have put forward a programme of pension reforms which they believe must be a top priority for the Government.

Michelle Mitchell, Head of Public Affairs for Age Concern and Katherine Rake, Director of the Fawcett Society are telling the Government:

  •      The current system is littered with obstacles and less than half of women pensioners qualify for a state pension in their own right.

  •      The needs of female pensioners must be at the centre of the Government's strategy for tackling pensioner poverty. What is needed is a state pension which is accessible and reflects people's actual living costs. 

As part of the 'Let's Make Pensions Work for Women' campaign, Age Concern and the Fawcett Society have developed a programme of pension reform, which includes action to:

1. Make all state pension contributions count
2. Include more low paid women and men in the National Insurance System
3. Introduce a better and more flexible system of credits for carers
4. Close the advice gap with better financial education and information
5. Better opportunities for women to build-up higher value company and personal pensions.

www.ageconcern.org.uk 


laterlife publication date - September 2003


 

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