Women take greatest financial hit during cost of living crisis

A new study highlights the gender differences when it comes to how the cost of living crisis has hit people’s retirement plans, with women significantly more impacted than men.

A worried pensioner with her hands to her face


Nearly two thirds of women says the cost of living crisis has made retirement impossible, according to a new survey which shows the current crisis is having a far greater impact on women’s finances and retirement plans than men’s.

An independent survey of 2,000 UK adults by My Pension Expert found that 61% of women in work believe the cost-of-living crisis has made retirement impossible, compared to 49% of men. And while 40% of men remain confident they will be able to retire at their desired age, this figure drops to just 29% among women.

Similarly, although 42% of men say they have the savings and plans in place to sustain their current lifestyle into their retirement, only 26% of women say the same thing.

My Pension Expert’s research showed that women are far less likely than men to know how much is saved in their pension pots – less than a third (32%) of women know the value of their pension, compared to 44% of men.

Moreover, far fewer women (13%) have sought professional financial advice to help them manage their finances during the cost-of-living crisis than men (23%).

Lily Megson, Policy Director at My Pension Expert, said: “The gender gap has loomed over the pension sector for decades. And as the cost-of-living crisis bites, this deeply embedded systemic issue is becoming more acute. Indeed, our research indicates that women are feeling as though their future finances are spiralling out of control.

“Pension gender inequality is an incredibly complex issue – there is no ‘quick fix’ solution. Action is needed to eradicate gender bias across the board, such as ensuring the affordability of childcare and reducing the earnings requirement for auto-enrolment into workplace pensions. And the government, as well as businesses themselves, must commit to addressing these problems if we are to make any headway.”

She added that that change would take time, but in the meantime said independent financial advice needs to become much more accessible so that women can better understand their financial situation, and the options available that suit their specific needs. She stated: “I urge the government to work closely with regulatory bodies and advisers to make this possible. In doing so, I hope that more and more women will feel in control of their finances and achieve the retirement they deserve.”

workingwise.co.uk has been doing a lot to highlight the gender pension gap and last year did a big survey and report on the issue, highlighting the different factors that contribute to the problem over a lifetime.

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