COVID19's Disproportionate Impact on Women's Pensions

Monday 14th December 2020

COVID19's Disproportionate Impact on Women's Pensions

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Article By Jan Bailey

COVID19's Disproportionate Impact on Women's Pensions

The ‘Gender Pay Gap’ has received significant media coverage in recent years, with many reports highlighting the lower average lifetime earnings that women can expect to receive in comparison with men, and the knock-on effects that this will have for their pension provision.

A recent report from the Chartered Insurance Institute’s Insuring Women’s Future initiative concludes that COVID19 could delay any closure of the gender pay gap even further – perhaps until 2110 (before the pandemic, it was expected to close in 2050) and therefore the gender pension gap until 2160 (as opposed to a pre-pandemic 2100). That’s nearly 150 years away!

This is attributed to many factors, including women taking on the bulk of unpaid caring responsibilities, an increase in relationship breakdowns, a lack of engagement by women in their financial affairs during the pandemic and a greater likelihood for women rather than men to have been furloughed or made redundant.

According to the report, women’s pension pot values fell by three times as much as men’s during the pandemic, due mainly to the funds in which they were invested. Nearly 40% of women, compared with 29% of men, said they had less money to spare at the end of the month than they did pre-lockdown.

So, what can be done?

The report suggests a number of ‘pandemic priority’ recommendations. These link back to the Initiative’s original and on-going manifesto, launched earlier this year, which pledges to work in collaboration with partners to “Improve women’s lifelong financial resilience and (address) some of the root causes of women’s pension deficit.”

One of these recommendations highlights the importance of the personal finance, pensions, insurance and wider financial services professions proactively engaging with clients to support their financial wellbeing. The onus, the report says, is also on employers to cultivate a diverse workforce and to support staff to be financially well-informed.

Here at Brunsdon Financial, we listen to our clients to understand their circumstances and financial objectives. Only then will we recommend products that we feel will best meet their goals. Our Financial Advisers are approachable and trustworthy and will always have their clients’ best interests at heart. Please do contact us for advice.

In the meantime, you can read the full Chartered Insurance Institute report, “Living a financial resilient life in the UK beyond COVID19”, over on the Initiative’s website .

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