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Press comment: DWP data shows widening gender pension gap


If you are covering the latest Pensioners’ Income Series published today by the DWP, please see the following commentary from Ian Browne, pensions expert at Quilter:

Ian Browne“The disparity in pension income levels between men and women has actually regressed over the last decade, growing to a 13% gap, up from 11% a decade earlier. Pension income levels have historically differed between the sexes for a variety of reasons, primarily linked to men spending more time in work, often in higher paying jobs, and subsequently building larger pension pots.

“Single men have an average weekly income of £233, while single women have and average income of £206. This is a 13% gap, up from the 11% gap (£210 and £189) in 2007/08. And in 2017/18, benefit income represented 65% of total income for single women. For single men, this figure was much lower at 49%.

“It is disappointing that despite changing working trends, men still enjoy significantly more prosperity in retirement than women. Although working practices and savings habits are changing, which will naturally lead to women building healthier savings, there is still more that can be done. Women are typically more likely to spend time out of the workplace caring for children or elderly relatives. It is critical they take advantage of government schemes to preserve their full entitlement to the state pension. This does require the individual to make sure they claim the correct credits against their national insurance record. Just because you aren’t in salaried work doesn’t mean you cannot be accruing national insurance contributions.

“In general, we can see that over time pensioners have become a relatively wealthy portion of the population. This doesn’t apply across everyone and many retirees will have a different experience. However, over the last 20 years a growing number of retirees have moved into the top 20% income group in the UK, while far fewer are at the lower end of the income spectrum. Nearly one in five retirees are now in the top income bracket compared to 13% of pensioners in 1997/98. Again, this is down to range of factors, particularly the relative generosity in uprating of the state pension, the prevalence of ‘gold-plated’ DB pensions among recent generation of retirees, and the strong investment returns of the last decade which have boosted private pension values.”

For more information contact

Michael Glenister020 7778 963807469

Notes to Editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £118.4 billion in investments (as at 30 June 2019).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions; and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Advice and Wealth Management and Wealth Platforms.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial advice business, Quilter Financial Planning; the discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

Wealth Platforms includes Old Mutual Wealth UK platform; Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore; and the Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business.

The Quilter plc businesses are being re-branded as follows: 

  • Quilter Financial Planning (previously Intrinsic)
  • Quilter Private Client Advisers (previously Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers)
  • Charles Derby Group (becoming Quilter Financial Advisers)
  • Quilter Financial Adviser School
  • Quilter Cheviot
  • Quilter Investors
  • Old Mutual Wealth (becoming Quilter Wealth Solutions in 2020)
  • Old Mutual International (becoming Quilter International in 2020)

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