Gender pensions gap day-was the 19th May and the day when women pensioners in the UK effectively start getting paid once the gender pensions income gap is taken into account.
Retired women in the UK receive, on average, four and a half months less than men in pension income each year.
The gender pensions gap is currently 38% and stands at more than twice the level of the gender pay gap, which is currently 15.4%.
New analysis from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) shows that women have accumulated workplace pensions worth less than half as much as men in two-thirds of industries.
What are the reasons for this gender pensions gap?
One significant driver is the imbalance of caring responsibilities between men and women, with women far more likely to take time out of work to look after children.
Another factor is the workplace pensions auto-enrolment rules, which mean employers do not have to enrol low-paid workers into pension schemes automatically. Women are more likely than men to work in low-paid jobs.
The gender pay gap also contributes to the gender pensions gap, with women earning less than men and, therefore, unable to contribute as much to a pension.
The TUC analysis found that, in manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and other service sectors, women aged between 45 and 64 have just 19% of the pension wealth of male colleagues.
In administration and support services, women in this age range have, on average, almost no pension wealth and a workplace pension pot a hundred times smaller than the average man has accumulated in the same sectors.
Even within female-dominated sectors such as education, health and social work, women have a median pension wealth of less than half of men’s.
The TUC estimated that it could take 54 years to close the gender pension income gap.
In response to the analysis, the TUC calls on the government to introduce mandatory action plans, pay reporting, and greater investment in childcare.
They also want the government to change the workplace pension auto-enrolment rules, removing the £10,000 earnings threshold, so employers enrol low-paid workers and those in part-time roles into pension schemes.
Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said:
“Too many women are paying the price in retirement for taking time out of work or cutting back their hours when their children were small.
“Ministers must act now, or we will consign more generations of women to poverty in retirement.
“We need to fix our pension system so that all women can benefit from a workplace pension with decent contributions from their employer, regardless of how much they earn.
“And we must invest in childcare. Caring responsibilities are one of the key drivers of the pensions gap — and the gender pay gap. Making childcare cheaper is a vital part of our economic recovery and essential for enabling mums to stay in work.”