1 in 4 women have no pension pot


Women are struggling to save for later life with 1 in 4 having no pension pot and most saying they find it harder to save than men.

According to research by Vitality almost a third (30%) of unretired women have not thought about saving for later life compared to 22% of men.

Over half of women (51%) say they are not saving for later life because they cannot afford to with Vitality predicting this will get worse as living costs rise due to soaring inflation.

Key findings from Vitality’s research of 2,001 adults carried out in March revealed:

  • Women are less likely to have savings outside of a workplace pension with 60% saying it’s because they can’t afford it   
  • On average, a woman’s pension pot is 30% less than a man’s 
  • Over a quarter of women do not have a pension pot (28%)   

The data shows that unretired women are less likely to have savings outside of a workplace pension with only (23%) investing their savings elsewhere, compared to over a third (35%) of men. 

Most women (60%) cited lack of money as a barrier to investing outside of the workplace pension, followed by lack of knowledge (17%). Over one in 10 (12%) do not have savings elsewhere because they do not have the confidence to invest, says Vitality.

Looking in more detail at pensions, the data suggests that unretired women find it harder to save with over a quarter (28%) not having a pension at all, compared to (19%) of men. The average woman has £20,364 in their pension pot, which is 30% less than the average man (£29,061). 

Prema Sohun, technical expert at VitalityInvest, said: “Women are struggling to prioritise and save for later life. While it is positive to see that many women do have a workplace pension, our data shows that they will not have enough to see them through retirement or to support them to have the kind of retirement they envisioned.  

“We also know that women have longer life expectancies than men, which means they need more savings to begin with. For this reason, the earlier that women can start to save, the better - even if it’s little and often.  

“As providers, there’s a lot we can do to support women in recognition of the challenges they face when it comes to saving. For example, by offering low product charges, we can help free up funds that otherwise could not be invested. This benefits women as it maximises their returns, while helping their investments to grow in a cost-efficient manner.” 

• Research was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,001 UK Adults, of which 1,537 were not retired, by Opinium on behalf of Vitality in March 2022. 

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