Married women could face a huge shortfall in pension savings compared to men according to new research.
Equity release lender More2Life estimates the pension savings gap when life expectancy is taken into account is £108,130 for single women but rises to £186,120 for married women or those in a relationship.
The research has been based on the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which shows life expectancy for women is currently estimated at 83.1 years compared to 79.4 years for men. This means women could face a longer retirement, but with smaller pension savings to live off.
Here, Which? explains why the gap exists and provides seven tips on how you could boost your savings to ensure you have enough retirement income to last during your golden years.
The main reason the pension savings gap exists is because of the imbalance in the level of occupational pension saving between men and women.
On average women earn less than men. More2Life data shows 42% of men aged 54 and over who are in a relationship said that their wealth exceeds that of their partner, compared to just 13% of women.
Married women, women in relationships and those with families are more likely to take breaks from employment or reduce hours to look after their family.
This means women may not be able to put as much away as men as pension contributions are based on a percentage of your salary.
Since last April, total minimum contributions have rested at 8%; with a minimum of 5% paid by you and 3% from your employer.
Another reason there's such a gulf in savings is that many women may not qualify to be enrolled into a pension scheme automatically.
It's not necessarily doom and gloom for all groups of women.
According to pension provider NOW: Pensions, this is due to a larger proportion of females working in public sector organisations like schools and hospitals, which tend to provide DB pensions.
Older women are also more likely to be in DB schemes, which were much more common until the mid-90s when they began to decline.
According to The Pensions Regulator, 52% of DB schemes are closed to new members. Therefore it's the younger population that may be most at risk of not saving enough.
Recent figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show a dramatic reduction in the gender pension gap between the old and new state pension.
For those who reached state pension age before 6 April 2016 and come under the 'old' state pension rules, the average male is receiving nearly £164 a week and the average female £136 a week. That's a gap of £1,456 a year.
In 2020-21, the full level of the new state pension is £175.20 a week (£9,110.40 a year).
There are some steps women can take to help make up the shortfall in their retirement savings.
We outline seven key points below which could help give a boost to your savings.
We've highlighted three levels of spending - paying for essentials, funding a comfortable retirement, allowing a few extras and being able to have a more luxurious lifestyle.
When it comes to saving for retirement, the sooner you start the better. Contributions then have years upon years of your working life to build up, while being invested into the which should boost your pot overtime.
The contributions you and your employer make will be calculated on your 'qualifying earnings', which is set between £6,240 and £50,000 a year.
Credits can help to fill gaps in your National Insurance record, to ensure you qualify for the state pension.
To get any state pension you need at least 10 years' worth of . To get the full, new state pension you need at least 35 years' of National Insurance Contributions, so the sooner you take action the better.
If you're married your spouse could pay into your pension. But you don't have to be married or in a civil partnership for one person to pay into the other's pension. Anyone can set up a pension and pay into it for someone else.
A pension could be one of the biggest assets built up during marriage that you'll need to 'divvy up'.
The total value of the pensions you have each built up is taken into account in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, it only applies to the pension you built up while you were married.
If you can't afford financial advice or don't want to pay for it, you can also get free, impartial guidance from The Pensions Advisory Service.
You can claim Child Benefit for each child you're responsible for if they're:
In the 2020/21 tax year, you could get:
Payments are tax-free as long as neither parent earns more than £50,000 a year.