Business Pensions

Sunday 20 May 2018

Women get a third less in pension payments than men

Women get a third less in pension payments than men. Stock image
Women get a third less in pension payments than men. Stock image
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Women get a third less in pension payments than men.

Now the National Women's Council has called on the Government to act to close the pensions gap.

The lobby group said the gulf between what women get in pensions and men is now 37pc, quoting figures from the European Institute for Gender Equality.

The European Institute for Gender Equality found that in 2012 the average man got pension payments of €1,859 a month.

But the average woman got 37pc less at €1,171.

That means a gap of €688 a month in pension payments.

Launching a pre-Budget submission document, called 'Fill the Gap', the council said women face deep inequalities in the pension system.

Director of the National Women's Council Orla O'Connor said: "The pension gap between women and men is widening, now standing at 37pc.

"We need to turn our focus from measures solely encouraging women to enrol in private pensions and instead using the opportunity of Budget 2017 to take action to increase women's access to pensions and to provide women with a decent income in their older years."

The reasons for the pensions gap include the fact that women have less access to the State pension than men.

Currently only 16pc of women receive the full pension.

This reflects both the legacy of the marriage bar and a system poorly designed to support individual entitlement or recognise the care work which women carry out, Ms O'Connor said.

She said recent changes to the contributory thresholds that determine how much of a State pension people get have made the situation for women worse.

"Budget 2017 must signal a change. It is crucial that the Budget introduces the promised homemakers' credit and backdate it to 1973, to coincide with the lifting of the marriage bar. The scheme is currently only backdated to 1994 and limited to the care of the children up to 12 years."

The National Women's Council called for the introduction of a universal pension system.

This is something that has been debated for years but has yet to get signed off from the Government.

"It is critical that Budget 2017 move us towards a universal pension system which gives both women and men equal access to a comprehensive pension guarantee. This pension must be at a payment rate to provide a decent standard of living for all," she said.

Irish Independent

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