New research from HSBC has revealed that the number of women in the UK not planning for retirement has almost halved to 32% compared to 62% in 2005.

In 2005 when HSBC started tracking consumer attitudes to pension planning, just over a third of women surveyed, aged 18-60, were contributing to a pension. Three years on, HSBC’s survey has revealed a marked increase in the number of women taking control of their retirement futures, with over half of women questioned now paying into a pension.

Of these women without retirement provision, almost a third of respondents admitted they were not contributing because they are not currently working or only work part-time. That’s almost two million women failing to make pensions contributions because they believe they are ineligible; 28% of the women not planning for retirement said that they believed they were too young to be prioritizing pension provision.

Over a fifth of women without a pension revealed that they couldn’t afford to pay into a scheme and only 2% of women respondents said they were relying on a state pension to fund their retirement.

Furthermore, 38% of women incorrectly believe that they have to be working to make pension contributions; less than half of women questioned were aware that a husband or wife can contribute to their partner’s pension, even if they are not working; almost three-quarters of women were unaware that anyone could start paying into a pension scheme for someone else and only one-fifth of women were aware that they needed to be in work for 39 years to qualify for a full state pension.

Ian Martin, head of UK retirement businesses at HSBC, said: Our research is very encouraging, in that it shows women are increasingly taking control of their own retirement planning. Yet many women are potentially missing out as they are still confused about when they can pay into pensions and who can pay into pensions.