Women being left behind by wayward pension policy

27th September 2023

Women have significantly less confidence than men in the government and its ability to support their long-term financial goals, new research by My Pension Expert has revealed.

Just 22% of women think the government has done a good job of supporting pension planners during the cost-of-living crisis. The figure rises to 28% among men.

Only 20% of women have confidence in Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor, compared to 27% of men. Similarly, 19% of women think the government will achieve its goal of halving inflation targets this year, compared to 27% of men.

The research also showed that just a third (32%) of women are comfortable with their pension funds being invested in British businesses to fuel economic growth as announced in the Mansion House Reforms, compared to 44% of men.

Elsewhere, My Pension Expert’s research shared that women also display less confidence about their pension planning more generally. Only 46% of women know how much is in their pension, compared to 54% of men. Meanwhile, although 64% of men say they understand the impact of high inflation and rising interest rates on their pensions, only 49% of women say the same.

Further, fewer than three in ten (28%) women are confident they will retire with enough money to achieve their desired lifestyle, which is a notable drop from the number of men who think they will (35%). Just 39% of women have a financial plan in place for retirement, compared to 52% of men.

Lily Megson, Policy Director at My Pension Expert, said “Time and time again the gender pension gap continues to rear its ugly head. Simply put, women are less prepared for retirement in terms of the amount they have saved as well as their confidence and knowledge in pension planning.”

“Government policy can play a key role in combatting this. Improving access to education and advice to bridge the gender pension gap, to name a few examples, would certainly be steps in the right direction. But our research also highlights a more complex issue at play: women are more likely to be disillusioned by the government’s handling of the economy and the support – or lack of – they are providing to people who want to plan their long-term financial futures.”

“Reversing these issues will clearly take time – yet women need support now. Facilitating access to independent financial advisers is therefore key to bridging the gap and empowering women to gain a clearer understanding of their financial circumstances. It’s crucial that the government collaborates with regulatory bodies and advisors to ensure this happens. Only then will the government be equipped to empower more women to get to grips of their retirement planning and build more widespread trust in pension policy.”