Women in UK face ‘glaring’ gender pension gap

Women are facing a “glaring” gender pension gap owing to career breaks to raise children and lower pay, an investment company has said.

Young women aged in their late 20s or early 30s faced an 11% smaller pension pot than men by the time they retired, Fidelity International said.

It said women faced a penalty because of motherhood and caring commitments.

But it also accepted that the industry was partly at fault for failing to engage women.

“We have to recognise where we have failed as an industry,” Fidelity International’s investment director, Maike Currie, told the BBC News website.

She said jargon and a lack of prominent women in the industry had contributed to lower investment by women than men, but accepted that a history of mis-selling in the industry had also had an impact.

For many women in their 20s, pensions have fallen on the priority list as they face up to more pressing financial concerns such as insecure work and the cost of renting a home.

It has often been said that the only people aged in their 20s who think about pensions are those who sell them.

A lack of time, confidence, access to the right information, industry jargon and not knowing where to start are just some of the obstacles that stop many women from thinking that investment is for them,” Ms Currie said in Fidelity International’s Financial Power of Women report.

“Until these hindrances are removed, or at the very least addressed, we cannot unlock women’s financial power.”