Ahead of International Women’s Day tomorrow, some positive news has been released in the form of customer data from online pension provider, PensionBee. Their data suggest that while evidence for the gender pension gap remains, there is also evidence that women are making a concerted effort to close it.
The data looked at frequency and value of contributions over the last six years (2017 to 2022), and found that all female age groups have increased their average pension contributions per year in the last 5 years, with the exception of the over 60s.
It also found that the value of female customers’ pension contributions are 28% lower at an average £1,890 a year, than male customers’ contributions (average £2,513 a year). However the average value per contribution has risen by 11% over the last six years for females, compared to a 21% decrease in the average value per contribution for male customers
The average number of contributions is higher for male customers, at 3.1 per quarter, compared to 2.9 per female customer, per quarter. The average number of contributions per male customer has increased by a higher proportion in the last three years (from 2.6 to 3.1) than the average number of contributions per female customer (from 2.7 to 2.9), suggesting that the pandemic boosted male customers’ saving efforts more than it did for female customers.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, PensionBee report that both female and male customers make the highest number of contributions in their forties whereas the highest value contributions are made in the 60+ age group.
Becky O’Connor, Director of Public Affairs at PensionBee, commented: “There are green shoots of evidence that the gender pension gap could close, according to PensionBee male and female customer data.
“It’s great to see the effort our female customers are making towards boosting their pensions and while the value of contributions is still lower than for male customers, the trajectory is going in the right direction. Men seem to be making more frequent contributions, while women make slightly fewer, but are increasing the amount they put in each time, on average.
“There is still a huge amount to do on the gender pension gap: paying female workers equally is an obvious one but redressing the imbalance in society around who does caring is another big one to tackle. From our data, it appears female customers are doing as much as they can possibly manage that is within their own control to look after their own futures, but against the wider odds, individual efforts only go so far.”