Retirement challenges faced by women

Nearly half of women aged 50-65 plan to continue working in some capacity after reaching the State Pension age

Years of gender-based earnings disparity have resulted in a significant pension savings gap between men and women, leaving many women in their 50s and 60s financially precarious. According to analysis, women are more than twice as likely to rely on financial support from their partner[1]. 

One in three women feel somewhat unconfident or not at all confident about their retirement provision meeting their needs, compared to 28% of men. Additionally, nearly half of women aged between 50 to 65 plan to continue working in some capacity after reaching State Pension age. Of this group, 13% plan to work the same hours, while 31% plan to work fewer. 

Financial security 

The analysis is based on qualitative data from the Office for National Statistics. It shows that 34% of women in this age group have changed their retirement plans in the two years before September 2022 and expect to stay in paid work for longer.

The study also highlights the stark contrast in future financial security between men and women. While the State Pension is the most common means of funding retirement for both genders, significantly fewer women plan to rely on a private pension than men. 

Securing employment 

The analysis suggests that the number of women planning to continue working after the State Pension age may have increased even further due to the subsequent cost of living crisis.

The challenges faced by women in securing employment after periods of unemployment or caregiving responsibilities contribute to their vulnerability. Many women aged 50-65 struggle to find work due to age discrimination or a lack of flexible work opportunities. 

Retirement prospects 

Additionally, they are too young to claim their State Pension, further exacerbating their financial situation as they approach retirement. While the State Pension age for men and women may now be equal, this data demonstrates that the retirement prospects of men and women are far from equal. 

The analysis underscores the need for addressing gender disparities in earnings, pension savings and access to flexible work opportunities to ensure financial security and equality in retirement.

Here are five ways to boost your retirement savings:

Maximise your pension contributions: Add as much as possible to your workplace pension or retirement savings to take advantage of tax relief. Check if your employer offers matching contributions.

Save more by making small changes: Review your budget and find areas where you can cut expenses to increase your savings.

Consider investing: Explore options providing higher long-term growth than a traditional savings account. Investments come with risk, so do thorough research and consider lower-risk options.

Make the most of joint allowances: If you’re in a partnership, examine your pensions and savings together to optimise your retirement plan.

Adjust your retirement plans: If you’re nearing retirement age and are concerned about insufficient funds, consider delaying retirement or switching to reduced working hours. Inform your pension provider about any changes and explore investment options that align with your new timeline.

Ready to get your retirement plans in motion?

Remember, it’s never too early or late to start saving for retirement. Take action today for a more comfortable future! To tell us about your situation or for advice, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Source data:

[1] Analysis by Rest Less, data reviewed from the ONS, which was issued in September 2022 entitled: Over 50s Lifestyle Study Wave 2, Great Britain: 10 to 29 August 2022 – Reasons workers aged 50 years and over left and returned to work during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Great Britain, Wave 2.

A PENSION IS A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT NOT NORMALLY ACCESSIBLE UNTIL AGE 55 (57 FROM APRIL 2028 UNLESS THE PLAN HAS A PROTECTED PENSION AGE). 

THE VALUE OF YOUR INVESTMENTS (AND ANY INCOME FROM THEM) CAN GO DOWN AS WELL AS UP, WHICH WOULD HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE LEVEL OF PENSION BENEFITS AVAILABLE. 

YOUR PENSION INCOME COULD ALSO BE AFFECTED BY THE INTEREST RATES AT THE TIME YOU TAKE YOUR BENEFITS.