An online pensions provider calls for more to be done to encourage equal sharing of caring responsibilities in order to eliminate the gender pension gap.
The gender pension gap could be closed if men and women were to work the same number of paid hours at equal pay, according to a leading online pensions provider.
PensionBee says the current gender pay gap of 38% is caused by an unequal number of annual paid working hours, with women more likely to reduce paid employment time for unpaid caregiving and housework than men.
By creating various policy intervention models, PensionBee discovered that if men and women were to work equal hours at equal pay, this would not only close the gap, but significantly increase the size of women’s pension pots and the overall amount in a couple’s joint retirement pot.
If men and women were to work the same hours, at an average of their current hours, with men working less during their late twenties to thirties and in their late fifties to early sixties, the gender pension gap could be eliminated. This would enable women to increase their pots by more than £106,000, whilst men’s pots would decrease by only around £33,000, says PensionBee.
Overall, it says, a couple could enjoy more than £70,000 in extra pension savings, with a combined pot of £812,827.
For this to happen, it says, the Government needs to provide more financial support for men to share parental leave and to encourage employers to disclose their parental leave and pay packages.
Clare Reilly, Chief Engagement Officer at PensionBee, said: “For too long the onus has been put on women to close the gender pension gap by changing their behaviour. This is not fair or effective. Policy interventions are required to normalise male participation in caring responsibilities, to free up more of women’s time to participate in paid employment. Employers must act now by providing supportive parental leave packages to all new parents, regardless of gender, and transparent, easily accessible information on parental leave and pay policies.”