Women With A Mistrust Of Saving Lose Out On Pensions

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Young women are still more likely to end up with a significantly smaller pension than their male colleagues because of barriers that stop them investing.

Even women who save according to auto-enrolment guidance issued by the government may still have smaller pensions.

Research by investment firm Fidelity International reckons their pension pots will be at least 11% than those of men.

They reached the conclusion after asking 1,000 women and 1,000 men about their investment opinions.

The firm worked out the average male pension saver now aged between 25 and 34 years old will accumulate a pot of £142,836 by the age of 68.

Lack of knowledge

But women of the same age are expected to have £126,784 because they earn less and take career breaks to act as carers for children or elderly relatives.

To close this gender savings gap, the company recommends women should save an extra 1% of their salary, which would add up to around £35 a month over a working life of 39 years.

Women are also encouraged to exercise greater control over their pension investments as 50% asked did not know how their money was invested and a third had no idea how much their pension fund was worth.

The study also revealed women were more likely to have savings in cash rather than invested in stocks and shares.

Women also felt they faced barriers to investment.

Uncomfortable with finances

Around 10% were uncomfortable dealing with their finances, which they described as complicated and intimidating.

Many felt they needed a salary increase of around a third to invest as they earned less than men.

Maike Currie, investment director at Fidelity International, said: “Financial inequality is one of the greatest challenges we face today. We live longer, earn less and are more likely to take career breaks or work part-time. To unlock the financial power of women, we need to address the personal, professional and policy barriers stopping women from investing.

“On a personal level, women still shy away from risk and prefer the perceived haven status of cash. On a professional level, the investment industry needs to do more to build trust and an understanding of their products and services among women. Finally, at a policy level, we need to look at the way pensions are designed and question whether they take account of the unique life choices and challenges women face.”

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