Tuesday 21 November 2017

Seven out of 10 women don't have a pension

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

SEVEN out of 10 women have no pension, which will leave them depending on their husbands or the State to fund their retirement.

And women that do have a retirement fund are set to end up with smaller pension payments than their male counterparts.

The average woman who has put a pension in place will retire with just €1,800 a year. This is half of what the average man will have, according to research from the Standard Life survey.

A survey of 1,000 adults found that just 30pc of women have a pension, compared with half of men who have made provisions for themselves when they finish working.

Aileen Power of Standard Life said: "Sisters need to do it for themselves and engage in some catch-up saving."

The numbers of women with a pension is also down from last year.

"Women want independence and their own money in retirement if at all possible. But you can't have independence without saving for it," Ms Power said.

The average woman's nest egg is €37,400, which will give a retirement income of just €1,800 a year.

By contrast, the average male pension pot is more than twice this amount, at €86,300, or a retirement income of €4,100 a year.

Around one-in-three women expect to rely on their husband or partner to finance their retirement.

Just one-quarter of women have a pension that is separate to the one their spouse or partner has, the survey conducted by Research Plus found.

Almost half of women without a pension said they can't afford to save in the current environment.

"There are women who can't afford to save in this environment -- but there are probably quite a few women who simply haven't gotten around to it," said Ms Power.

Men are twice as likely as women to own additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) -- a top-up to an occupational pension.

BENEFITS

"Once women figure out the tax efficiency and benefits of pensions and AVCs, they'll get cracking and do it for themselves and spread the word to their family and friends," said Ms Power.

The Government is considering an auto-enrolment pension scheme for those who do not have a private retirement fund.

Workers would be able to pay a fixed amount relative to their income into one national -- or possibly private -- scheme over the course of their working lives.

There would be additional matching contributions from their employer and the Government through tax relief.

However, no date for the introduction of this scheme has been announced.

Irish Independent

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