Women and Pensions

Scottish Widows produce a report each year called “Women and Pensions”. The 2015 report was released recently. The key finding was that 71% of women don’t know how much they will need in their pension. Let me confess that I have little faith in surveys. In my experience, almost everyone has little idea about how much they need in their pension, regardless of gender or age.

Sadly another top-line statistic is that 28% of women retiring received less income in retirement than they had expected. The report isn’t really designed to provide anything other than observe trends within financial services. Many commentators, myself included, would observe that women are not served well by financial services firms. There are still sadly, very few female advisers or investment managers and of course very few in the Board rooms of financial services firms. A notable difference between genders observed by Scottish Widows is that 60% of men are “adequate savers” compared to 52% of women. I should point out that “adequate” is the best category.

Report Findings

If you have regularly followed my blog, you will appreciate that I am somewhat sceptical about reading too much into the data. In reality, there are a wide range of reasons why women may be saving less for retirement. This might include being paid less, which still remains a problem. The fact that many women take career breaks to bring up children, or work part-time.  Context is everything. Here are some statistics that are published in the report

  • 43% of women have little or no understanding of individual pension savings
  • 25% of women aged 35-49 are non-savers
  • 25% of women earn less than £10,000 a year
  • 9% of women have a financial adviser
  • 34% of women would be prepared to pay for financial advice

So What About Solutions?

Whatever you make of the report findings, the reality is that most people do not have a clear idea about how much they need in retirement, or indeed when they can afford to retire. What is clear is that financial planning provides a solution, the million dollar question is whether the advice is affordable for many, which sadly, I believe it is not. Hence why we launched a new service “The 100 Club” which is designed to help anyone “get going” on their long-term saving. Please pass the information on to anyone that needs it.

So, I guess my question is… what are your ideas for improving how women are served within the financial services industry?

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk