UK cost-of-living crisis takes greater toll on women

Clear need for action to eradicate gender bias in the pension sector, study says

Many women in the UK are finding it impossible to plan for retirement due to the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on their finances. PA
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The cost-of-living crisis in the UK is disproportionately affecting women’s finances, making retirement seem impossible for many.

A new survey by financial advisers My Pension Expert which included 2,000 UK adults found that 61 per cent of working women believe the cost-of-living crisis has made retirement impossible, compared to 49 per cent of men.

Only 29 per cent of women are confident that they will be able to retire at their desired age under the current financial situation, compared to 40 per cent of men who feel the same way.

In terms of financial preparedness, 26 per cent of women believe they have the savings and plans in place to sustain their current lifestyle into retirement, compared to 42 per cent of men.

The survey highlighted a significant lack of financial preparedness among both genders. However, women were found to be less likely than men to know how much they have saved in their pension pots, with only 32 per cent of women knowing the value of their pension, compared to 44 per cent of men.

In addition, 10 per cent fewer women than men have sought professional financial advice to help them manage their finances during the cost-of-living crisis.

The study suggests that affordability of childcare needs to be improved to help women better plan for their retirement. Getty

The findings suggest that women are feeling as though their future finances are spiralling out of control.

Lily Megson, policy director at My Pension Expert, has called for action to eradicate gender bias in the pension sector.

She said the affordability of childcare needs to be improved and the earnings requirement for auto-enrolment into workplace pensions reduced. She also called on the government and businesses to commit to addressing these problems.

Ms Megson highlighted the need for more accessible independent financial advice to help women better understand their financial situation and the options available.

“I urge the government to work closely with regulatory bodies and advisers to make this possible,” she said.

“In doing so, I hope that more and more women will feel in control of their finances and achieve the retirement they deserve.”

Updated: March 28, 2023, 11:16 AM

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