The gender pension gap has nearly trebled in the last decade, according to an analysis of newly published figures.
The ‘Pensioner Income series’, published annually by DWP, provides a full breakdown of pensioner incomes over the last two decades and includes separate figures for single male pensioners and single female pensioners. The latest data is for 2016/17.
A detailed analysis of the figures by mutual insurer Royal London shows that 10 years ago the average retired single woman had a gross income of £294 per week and her male counterpart had £325 – a gap of £31 per week; in 2016/17, that gap had nearly trebled to £85, with the average woman now on £316 per week whilst the average man is on £401 per week. In the same period women’s incomes have risen by just 7% in real terms over the period compared with an increase of 23% for men.
The analysis says the widening pension gap is driven by the fact that men’s earnings have risen at a faster rate than women’s and that men’s occupational pensions have increased more sharply than women’s. It says women have seen their average occupational pension income rise from £58 to £81 over the decade, but men’s occupational pensions have shot up from £83 per week to £125 per week.
Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London said: “These figures reveal a shocking surge in the gap between men and women when it comes to living standards in retirement. Having a decent occupational pension and the potential to top up pensions with earnings are the two key factors in having a good income past pension age. Much more needs to be done to tackle the disadvantages faced by women in the later life jobs market as well as doing more to ensure women are building up better pensions in their own right in the future.”