Men are putting more money into their pensions than women, according to 93pc of financial advisers questioned for a new survey. Over two thirds of the advisers said that men are saving “way more” than their female co-workers.

The findings are further evidence of the gender pension gap, with women being generally less financially prepared for retirement. This has been attributed to their lower salaries, and the fact that they take longer periods of time out of the workforce in order to start and raise their families.

However this survey adds a new twist, with one third of financial advisers reporting that men take a more proactive role than women in financial planning, and 16pc believe that men show a greater interest in pensions.

The findings are from a survey of over 160 pension advisors, which was undertaken by Independent Trustee Company (ITC), an Irish-owned professional pension trustee company.

“The glaring gender disparities in pension contributions are abundantly evident from this research,” said Glenn Gaughran, head of business development at ITC.

“This highlights the broader challenge faced by women in financial planning for their future. The findings paint a stark picture: men are not only outpacing women in pension savings, but they are doing so substantially.”

Mr Gaughran said that the research underlines a widely held belief amongst industry professionals that the primary reason for the gender pension gap is the interruption in women’s work history, often due to caregiving responsibilities including looking after elderly relatives. Such breaks in employment result in lower earnings and fewer opportunities to contribute to pension plans.

“All of this culminates in a situation whereby women lose out on job promotions and salary rises, while pension contributions are stalled or stopped altogether,” Mr Gaughran said.

“Having less financial cushion in retirement can leave women more vulnerable to economic insecurity, especially considering factors like longer life expectancies and higher healthcare costs in older age.”

The most recent Health in Ireland – Key Trends report, produced by the Government for 2023, found that, on average, women are living three years longer than men – 85 years versus 82.

Given that men are proactive when it comes to financial planning, Mr Gaughran said more needs to be done to promote and encourage greater levels of action by women. Practical steps they could take to strengthen their financial future could include establishing clear targets, monitoring cash flow, and building a safety net, such as working towards having three months’ salary in a savings account.

Source: John Burns, Irish Independent, 5th of June 2024. 

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