Business Pensions

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Jobs recovery is leaving women behind, say unions

Charlie Weston, Personal Finance Editor

Published 06/03/2014 | 02:30

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Gillian Ryan, Standard Life; Sarah McGurrin, Orca Financial Services; and Emer Kirk, Harvest Financial Services, highlighting the Standard Life, Connect Women in Pensions initiative. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan

THE recovery in jobs is leaving women behind, trade unions have claimed.

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And other figures show that the average woman wants to retire on a pension of €40,000 a year, but most only put enough money aside to get a pension of €2,000 a year.

There is no sign of an significant employment growth for women, an Irish Congress of Trade Unions conference was told. Unite regional equalities organiser Taryn Trainor said in Wexford that women must share equally in recovery.

Ahead of International Women's Day on Saturday, Ms Trainor said: "The latest figures show that total employment growth, including self-employed, over the past year was just 1.2 pc for women.


"When it comes to employees, there was only a fractional increase – 0.4pc for women, and employment for young women – those aged under 35 – has actually fallen.

"At the same time, nearly one-in-10 women is under-employed – either working part-time because she cannot access full-time work, or working part-time and unable to get sufficient hours to earn a decent wage.

"All the evidence shows that women were disproportionately impacted by the recession and the austerity response. Now, we are witnessing a 'womanless jobs recovery'," she said.

Meanwhile, women in jobs want to retire on big pensions but most are putting little into a fund to realise this desire.

The average women wants to retire on a pension of €40,000 a year, but she has only saved enough to give her €2,000 a year, according to a new survey from pensions provider Standard Life and the Connect Women in Pensions Group, a voluntary networking group for women in the pensions industry.

The survey found that the average working women has a pension pot of just €45,000 – this would provide an annual income of around €2,000.

These women should get a state pension worth around €12,000 a year, but will still have to create a pension pot of €500,000 to meet their expectation of a €40,000-a-year pension, Standard Life's Aileen Power said.

"If you are 20 that means saving €240 per month, if you're 30 that means saving €432 per month, if you're 40 it means saving €840 per month and so on," Ms Power said. She said it was clear that most women were not saving nearly enough to provide the sort of pension they're seeking.

"If working women want to aim for half their final salary as a pension, they need to save at least 30pc of their annual salary per year," she said.

If women want less, they should try to calculate how much they need to live on in retirement and work back to see how much they need to save monthly, she said.

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