Fact Service May 2011

Issue 21

Retirement pension gender gap closes

The retirement gender pay gap has shrunk slightly over the last 12 months, according to research from the financial services group Prudential.

Men expect to retire on average incomes of £19,400 a year — 50% more than women, who anticipate incomes of £12,900 and a gap of £6,500. Prudential’s Class of 2011 study shows that the retirement gender gap is £900 smaller than last year when the study showed a £7,400 gap with women expecting incomes of £12,200, while men looked forward to £19,600.

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development at Prudential, said: “It is good news that average retirement incomes for women have risen, but unfortunately the gender gap remains stubbornly wide.”

Joanne Segars, chief executive of the influential industry body the National Association of Pension Funds, said: “The big gap in retirement income between the genders is a serious issue, and the sums involved can make a huge difference to a pensioner’s lifestyle.

"Sadly, many women lost out on the chance to build their pension when they left work to start a family, and too many are reliant on their husband’s pension.”