“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.”