I Am Not Equal.

It is widely known that there are a number of financial gaps between men and women; the pension gap is one of them.  Pensionbee research has shown that whilst the average pension gap stands at 38%, it can be as high as 57% depending on savers’ age and location.

It is more important than ever that people of all genders work to level the playing field when it comes to pensions.  

So where does the inequality come from?

I am not equal when it comes to pressure to take on unpaid labour.  Women are more pressured to take on unpaid labour, such as caretaking responsibilities and housework – regardless of whether they are the higher or lower earners’ in the household (Institute for Fiscal Studies).

I am not equal when it comes to career breaks and part-time work.  Having one or more children can lead to women taking more career breaks and even then, they may return to the workforce in a part time capacity.  Women with dependent children are seven times more likely to work part-time than men according to Office of National Statistics data (March 2021).

The issue with this is that firstly, they are earning less if at all, so missing out on vital workplace pension contributions.  Secondly, women who work less contribute less to National Insurance Contributions which can later impact their state pension.

Financielle Community Member

“I didn’t realise the financial impact going on maternity leave would have on me personally. Yes, dealing with statutory maternity pay is difficult but it’s so much more than that. Only after having my second child did I realise that I had missed two years of pension contributions whilst my partner who took some paid leave during both children managed to contribute to his pension fully. I would advise all couples to sit down and work out a solution that means the woman (or person taking the majority of parental leave) isn’t left behind”.

 

I am not equal when it comes to being targeted to spend.  Women are in control of 85% of spending and so companies aggressively target them to part with their hard-earned cash to “keep up with the Joneses”.  On top of this, it’s expensive to be a woman.  The ‘pink tax’ refers to the tendency for feminine-branded products to be 32% more expensive than those marketed towards men – on top of which women are likely to spend an additional £18,450 on ‘period related” products over their lifetime. (Huffington Post)

I am not equal when it comes to the financial literacy and product gap:  According to the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center, women are behind men when it comes to financial literacy and this is due to both a knowledge gap and a confidence gap.  Combine this with the fact that off-putting financial jargon is used to promote financial products, it’s no wonder that women can be disengaged when it comes to using them.

Everyone deserves a financially-well retirement, irrespective of our gender.  We need to work as a society to change the fundamental triggers that lead to women being so behind when it comes to pensions.  

This involves:

1.Eradicating the gender pay gap, so that all genders are paid equal pay for equal work.

2. Families agreeing to maintain or increase pension contributions for any parent that takes career breaks or undertakes part time work.

3. Employers offering gender-inclusive paid parental leave, an element PensionBee believes to be the most effective way to close the gender pension gap.

4. The financial services sector building inclusive products and services.

We need to move to a place where all of us can say “I Am Equal”, regardless of gender.

Check out PensionBee here

Capital at risk, in partnership with PensionBee.

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