Female Finance: Making Your Pension Count

Retirement is often something we look forward to, hoping that our hard work in the present will pay off in the future.

The reality of planning for this retirement is quite different for a lot of women, however.

With 48% of women saying they feel unprepared for retirement in comparison to 25% of men, the gender differences in how we approach retirement start to become clearer.[1] 

Currently, there are 50% more women than men heading towards retirement without any private pension savings, with women in their early 60s having one third of a man’s private pension wealth.[2]

This is why adequate pension planning for women is so essential.

Women are estimated to live 3.7 years longer than men, which means they are also likely to need to save up to 7% more than men by retirement age to account for this.[3]

However, it isn’t all doom and gloom – it’s simply a case of giving women the advice and information they need to reach their highest financial potential for their pension.

So, how can you make your pensions savings work harder for you?

1) Track down lost pension pots

In the UK alone, there is £20bn worth of unclaimed pension pots.[4]

By using the government free pension tracing service, you can begin tracking down pension pots you may have from previous jobs to see where your money is invested.

Though this may help you make the most of the allowances you’re entitled to that you may not have been aware of, these lost pension pots may also be costing you extra money.

The best thing to do is to check if you’re still paying fees to pension pots that you are no longer contributing to, and if you’re unsure about how to make the most of your allowances, speak to a financial adviser.

2) Don’t underestimate the value of the State Pension

Many women will have taken career breaks for varying reasons, from caring for relatives to being self-employed.

Checking your entitlement to the State Pension is a great way to start bridging the gaps in your National Insurance contributions, which is better done sooner rather than later due to the limit of only being able to top up the last 6 years.

3) Cover all of your bases

It isn’t just about excessively trying to save as much as possible.

You may have access to multiple pensions and assets that could be building your financial safety net for you, e.g., current and old workplace pensions, your house, or even Premium Bonds. 

Make sure you account for all potential sources of income in order to get the best overall view of all contributing factors.

Instead of facing the challenges presented by the gender pension gap alone, we’d love to be able to help you further so that you can find confidence in your future, rather than feeling apprehension.

1 https://www.closebrothersam.com/media/1969/the-financial-wellbeing-index.pdf

2, 3 https://www.pensionspolicyinstitute.org.uk/media/3227/20190711-understanding-the-gender-pensions-gap.pdf

4 https://www.pensionspolicyinstitute.org.uk/media/2855/201810-bn110-lost-pensions-final.pdf