More than two in five women under 40 are not paying money into a pension, according to new research from Zurich.
An estimated 2.56 million (41%) women aged between 25 and 39 have not saved any money for retirement. This compares to 30% of men in the same age group.
Of those women that are saving into a pension, just one in five has no idea how much they are saving each month. This is more than double the number of men who aren’t engaged with their pension savings.
Further, 15% of women who do have pensions, don’t know what sort of pension they have.
“Women are less engaged with their nest eggs than men”
Emma Huntington, managing director of Zurich FutureYou, says: “Far more women than men are saving nothing into a pension for retirement. If women are unable to start saving sooner, they may have reduced financial freedom in later life.
“As well as saving less into their pensions, women are also less engaged with their nest eggs than men, and therefore could fall short of the income they desire for a comfortable old age.
“If this trend continues, it may lead to stark differences in the standard of living men and women can afford in later life. A generation of women could end up working longer than men and facing a less financially secure retirement.”
Ms Huntington says these problems will only be compounded by other financial barriers that limit the amount women are able to save, for example lower salaries and an increased likelihood of taking time out of work to raise children.
Ms Huntington adds: “The domino effect of lower wages and starting a family, as well as other financial pressures such as rising house prices, could mean that women in particular are putting retirement saving on the back burner. As a result, women in their twenties and thirties are delaying saving until their forties, or even later.
“Women who start saving later may have to work much longer to build up an adequate pension pot. That’s why it makes sense to save whatever you can afford. You can always increase your contributions in the future.”
She also recommends that those women who do plan to start a family pay as much into their pensions as they can, while they are still in full-time employment.