A new report on women and pensions published by the UK's Department for Work and Pensions has highlighted the historical divides that women have faced in the pensions system, and illustrated the challenges facing women in accruing sufficient retirement savings.
The report examines how the state and private pension systems affect women, how their experiences compared to mens’, and how these systems have provided for women in the past and how this may evolve in the future.
The report says that inequalities of income in retirement cannot be tackled in isolation from inequality during working life. The government’s report found that only 30% of women at state pension age are entitled to a full basic state pension (and only 24% on the basis of their own national insurance contributions), and 2.2 million women are not accruing a basic state pension through a combination of low earning or not being in the workplace. However by 2025 it is expected that women will have the same basic state pension entitlement as men.
Commenting on the report, David Blunkett, the former minister for work and pensions, said:
This analysis will bring into sharp focus the reality facing many women as regards their pension provision. This provides us with a platform that will enable not only government, but stakeholders and industry to bring forward the solutions that will ensure the pensions system is better able to reflect the world we live in today and the role that women play in it.
Meanwhile, the minister for women Tessa Jowell commented that, the role of women in society and in the workplace has changed dramatically since the war and this change is now reflected in most of our institutions, inside and outside of work. Ms Jowell added that the current pension provision for women was based on an outdated notion of women relying on their husbands for their retirement income.