Pensions time bomb ‘hits women hardest’

 

Far more women than men expect to be financially ruined by the “ticking pensions time bomb”, according to a new report, fuelling fears of a growing gender gap in retirement.

Most workers believe they will not be able to support themselves when they reach retirement age, but women are especially concerned, research by the business software firm Sage has revealed.

Six out of 10 – 17.4 million – expect to have to work beyond the retirement age, and nearly 50 per cent more women than men claim they can’t afford to contribute to their pensions.

Only 17 per cent of men are struggling to save into their pension pot against 28 per cent of women. Nearly one-fifth of women think they will have to sell their home to fund their retirement, again far higher than just 14 per cent of men. 

The findings come at a critical time for the Government’s programme to get all workers into a company pension scheme, known as auto-enrolment. This year businesses employing between 60 and 350 are required to auto-enrol. The rule will affect some 50,000 firms.

But the study warns that their progress won’t be easy as nearly one in five have still not heard of auto enrolment.

Ceara Metcalf, Sage’s payroll expert, said: “It’s no secret the UK is sat on a ticking pensions time bomb, but it’s concerning to see that women feel that they are going to be harder hit when it comes to retirement.”

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