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CII calls for industry action to help improve women’s financial security

14 March 2018

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) is calling upon the insurance and financial planning profession to help improve women’s financial security. 

A new report by the CII has shown that a combination of growing debt, lower earnings and a lack of confidence about financial matters is putting millennial women at greater risk of poverty in old age.

The report, Securing the future of the next generation: The Moments that Matter in the lives of young British women, shows that women continue to earn less than men in most fields, with the gender pay gap not expected to close until at least 2050.

As many as three in five professional women who take a career break to have children return to lower skilled or lower paid jobs. Meanwhile, female part-time workers earn 30% less per hour than those working full time.

The report found young women were less likely to save for the future than older women. While women overall were more likely to save than men, they typically save lower amounts. When it comes to retirement savings, on average men accumulate five times the pension pot of women by the age of 65 – £35,700 versus £179,091.

Unsurprisingly, the findings showed women were less confident than men when it comes to managing money. Only 37% of females aged between 18 and 24 described themselves as very confident about managing their money, compared with 48% of men. A large number (59%) of 18-34 year olds worry about not having money to retire. Over half (52%) of women in their late 20s said their understanding about retirement planning was not sufficient to make decisions, compared to just 38% of men.

Jane Portas, Insuring Women’s Futures Committee lead on Women’s Risks in Life, lead author of the report, and PwC Partner, said: “Women continue to have a fundamental lack of financial resilience to the risks they face in life. Many of the issues leading to women’s exposure to risk are deep rooted in society and will only get worse for the next generation unless we act now. We need to find new ways of educating and engaging young women and put policies in place that support them throughout their life. As a society, we need to improve women’s risk protection, economic independence and financial resilience, improving the financial future for us all.”

Sian Fisher, CEO of the CII and chair of the Insuring Women’s Futures Committee, said: “Insurance has always played a central role in safeguarding not just the nation’s homes, businesses, health and wealth, but the freedom to make positive life choices as a result of having that security in place. This research underlines the need for insurance, policy makers and consumer groups to work together to act now because if we don’t address this, we will not have the resources to sustain the current situation.”

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