Women are pension paupers compared to men, according to a new study.
British women saving for retirement save less and rely on their partners or spouses for financial support in their later years, says pension provider Scottish Widows.
The firm explains research shows women give more priority to short term spending needs and sacrifice their pensions as a result.
Even those that are putting money aside for their retirement are saving at least £1,000 less every year than men, so end up with considerably smaller than average pension pots.
In comparison, 25% of men have no pensions, compared to 33% of women, the study points out.
The firm cites career breaks, shorter working hours and caring for children and elderly relatives all affect how much women can save.
A difference in pay between men and women also puts women at a disadvantage when saving for retirement, says the study.
For example, only half of women in their 30s work full-time compared to 81% of men of the same age and they earn an average gross income of £19,200, compared to £28,700 for men.
This pay disparity allows women in their 30s to save £87-a-month towards retirement outside of pension and property investments, compared to £151 saved by men of the same age.
Many women told the survey that the money they do have goes on day-to-day living expenses and treats, like holidays.
The study follows up similar research in 2011. Comparisons show 40% of women feel they will have a financially secure retirement, down half in two years, while 24% aged between 40 and 50 are relying on their partner’s retirement income to support them as well.
Women in their 40s also spend more on supporting their children than any other age group.
Lynn Graves, of Scottish Widows, said: “It’s worrying that the gender gap is widening between men and women as far as saving for retirement goes.
“The number of women who feel financially comfortable about their retirement income has reached a record low. Their income shortfall widens every year and they should consider acting now to address the problem rather than waiting until the day they retire, when it will be too late.
“Women in their 40s have the biggest problem, because they would have little or no income in retirement if they were to split up as they rely almost completely on their partner for financial support.”
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