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Gender pension planning gap cause for concern

1 July 2019

Just over a third (34%) of women don’t have a pension plan, compared to just 17% of men, new research from online investment service provider Willis Owen has revealed.

The survey of 1,070 UK adults showed of the women without a pension, 41% said they have no intention of starting one, versus 34% of men.

As many as 17% said they did not intend to start paying into a pension until they are at least 40, with a further 9% admitting they wouldn’t do so until they reached 50. For male respondents without a pension, these numbers were lower at 13% and 4% respectively.

The research also revealed an increasing reliance upon the state pension, with 65% of those without a pension saying the state pension would pay for their retirement. A third (34%) said they would rely on savings, while 21% said they would use their partners’ pensions, savings and investments to pay towards their retirement. Nearly one in five (17%) claim they will not be able to stop working.

According to Willis Owen, many people are also cancelling payments into schemes. Just over one in three people (35%) claim to have stopped paying into their pension over the past 12 months, with 28% of those who have stopped saying they could no longer afford it. This was followed by 20% who said they would rather use the money for other purposes, while 14% would prefer to use it to help them on to the property ladder.

Adrian Lowcock, head of personal investing, Willis Owen, said while it isunderstandable that people are opting to focus on their financial needs today, such as getting on the property ladder, rather than financing their needs in retirement when they stop work, the findings were cause for concern.

“It’s alarming to see so many people without pension plans, or who have stopped paying into them. Not only are they missing out on generous tax benefits provided by saving into pension schemes, the reality for many of them is that they will never be able to stop work and enjoy a retirement.  However, it’s never too late to own your financial future and start saving into a pension scheme.”

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