Women less prepared for retirement

A new report shows British women are less prepared for their retirement than men.

Only 11% of British women feel prepared for retirement and 16% have not taken any steps to prepare, according to a major global survey on retirement.
This compares with 15% and 12% respectively of men.
The HSBC’s It’s Time to Prepare report, which is part of its Future of Retirement programme, questioned 15,000 people in 15 countries and found women were less likely than men to have sorted out their retirement plans. They were also more likely to feel anxious about the economic downturn and expect it to last longer. As a consequence they have cut back on spending on goods, services and socialising more than men.
The majority of respondents admit to being ignorant about what their retirement income will be, with 88% of women and 84% of men not knowing.
The survey also shows that almost half of people questioned had not had any financial education and had not sought any professional advice. Most said they did not understand their short term finances and even fewer – 25% of women – understood their long-term finances with 8% of women leaving it to their partners to sort out their long-term finances.
Clive Bannister, Group Managing Director, HSBC Insurance, said: "The
survey shows that low levels of preparedness and a lack of understanding
of long-term finances mean people are feeling the stress of the economic
downturn in their long-term thinking, as well as the day to day matters.
"The figures about the lack of financial education and advice show there
is a real need for action to fill these gaps, particularly as taking
personal responsibility for pensions becomes increasingly important."
The countries surveyed were Brazil, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, UAE, UK, and US.
Many women have suffered on retirement after taking time out from work or going part-time and not paying in sufficient National Insurance contributions to qualify for a reasonable pension. The Government recently passed the Pensions Act 2008 which encouraged greater saving by individuals, included a duty on employers to automatically enrol staff on a good quality pension scheme and allowed for the setting-up of a new low-cost scheme for those who cannot access a workplace pension scheme.

Related articles:
Why the Pensions Act is good for women - opinion piece


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