UK markets closed
  • NIKKEI 225

    +379.67 (+1.00%)

    -20.57 (-0.11%)

    +0.94 (+1.17%)

    +15.00 (+0.64%)
  • DOW

    +0.51 (+0.00%)
  • Bitcoin GBP

    -1,584.93 (-3.02%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    -63.73 (-4.59%)
  • NASDAQ Composite

    -14.34 (-0.08%)
  • UK FTSE All Share

    +30.42 (+0.69%)

Women have smaller pensions than men – but female civil servants enjoy one big advantage

Striking civil servants take part in a rally outside Downing Street in London, United Kingdom on April 28, 2023 - Future Publishing
Striking civil servants take part in a rally outside Downing Street in London, United Kingdom on April 28, 2023 - Future Publishing

Women have smaller pensions than men, but female civil servants still receive twice as much as their counterparts in the private sector.

By the time they reach 55, women’s pensions are just two-thirds the size of men’s retirement savings, according to figures released by the Government for the first time on Monday.

On average, women aged between 55 to 59 have £94,000 saved in a pension, versus £145,000 for men. This “gender pensions gap” means that women face greater financial risk as they enter old age, experts warned.

Figures showed women working in the public sector were able to save more than twice as much into their pension compared to those in the private sector, with an average annual contribution of £7,830 versus £3,200.


Men overtook women in both sectors, with average annual pension savings of £10,430 in the public sector and £4,110 in the private sector.

Gail Izat, of the pension provider Standard Life, said: “We simply shouldn’t still be seeing such a huge discrepancy between men and women’s retirement savings as we move towards the mid-2020s.

“The pay gap is a major contributing factor, and there’s also the fact that women are more than three times as likely as men to work part-time, often as a result of taking on the majority of caring responsibilities within a family.”

Melissa Blissett, of the pensions consultancy Barnett Waddingham, added the reported pension gap was a “thin end of a march larger wedge”.

“The headline figure is based on pension pot values, but if we look at women’s life expectancy in the UK, which is higher than men’s, we have a dangerous combination of a smaller pot size and more years to fund for,” she said.

“Our research has observed contributions from women dropping below men’s as time goes on, with men contributing £500 to £1,500 more than women after their 30s.”

Women also typically received a smaller state pension than men, separate data have shown. Women are paid an average of £156 per week in state pension payments, compared with £178 paid to men.

The full new state pension is worth £203.85 per week. The old state pension, paid to those who retired before 2016, is worth £156.20.

However, around 1.8 million people receive less than £100 in state pension payments. Of these, 1.3 million are women. Women can receive a smaller state pension if they have taken time out of work to bring up children and therefore have an incomplete National Insurance record.

Now read: This is how much you need in your pension to retire comfortably (whatever your age)