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Married women's pensions £8k a year lower than their husband's

Jessica Beard
·2-min read
Gender pensions gap
Gender pensions gap

Being married in retirement would seem like a happy way to spend your non-working years but new research has found that a woman in a relationship will have an annual pension more than £8,000 lower than their partner. 

There is a glaring gender divide in pension savings that most keenly felt by married women or those in a relationship. Their pots remain £186,120 smaller than men’s on average, according to research by more2life, a lender.

It found that only 13pc of women over the age of 54, who are in a relationship, said their pension wealth exceeds that of their partner.

A man's annual income in retirement is £8,460 larger than their spouse’s, the study found. A single man over the age of 55 typically received around £3,750 more a year than single woman of the same age.

Over the course of the retirement the gender pension gap could be as much as £108,130 for single women when life expectancy is taken into account.

This is in part driven by the higher proportion of men having a gold-plated final salary pension. Nearly half of men said their income comes from a defined benefit or final salary pensions compared with one in three women.

Ask Kate a question | The Telegraph’s pensions doctor
Ask Kate a question | The Telegraph’s pensions doctor

Men are also more likely to use private savings to boost their income. Half of men surveyed said they have independent pension wealth, while only 39pc of women said they did.

Women taking time away from work, generally to look after family, is the biggest factor in the women’s pension gap historically, according to another report by the Pensions Policy Institute, a think-tank. It claimed that there are 50pc more women than men heading towards retirement without any private pension savings.

The inequalities have been inflamed by the pandemic. Data showed that not only have women been more likely to lose their job but they are also taking on a greater burden of childcare and household duties during lockdown.

More than a third of women over 50 and a fifth of men don’t have a private pension, which represents more than 7 million people, according to life insurance company SunLife. 

One in three women said they are hoping their partner or spouse’s pension will fund their retirement.