Pension saving gender divide widens in 2012

Ben Southwood
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THE GAP between men’s and women’s retirement savings widened further over the past year, data from Scottish Widows revealed yesterday, as the second dip of the recession hit personal finances.

Women are saving £776 less than men a year, the report said, up from £700 reported last year. If the divide persists, a 30-year-old woman would have £29,800 less than a male counterpart at retirement.

The number of women saving nothing for retirement increased to 26 per cent in 2012, compared to 19 per cent of men, the data showed, up from 23 per cent in 2011 – when 17 per cent of men weren’t saving.

The report puts this development down to difficulties with debt. Three in ten women respondents said they were prioritising debts over pension saving – and the average amount owed jumped from £10,174 last year to £10,922 this year.

Lynn Graves at Scottish Widows called for financial education to help households find the balance between sensibly paying down debt and providing for old age.

“There is clearly a demand for... financial education to help people get the balance right between managing debt payments and taking a realistic approach to long term savings,” Graves said.