Women ‘don’t know where they stand over pension issue’

Francis O'Grady
Francis O'Grady
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Three-quarters of women do not know what state pensions they can expect and most lack confidence when making retirement decisions.

Research for The Pensions Advisory Service involving 1,000 women found many “do not know where they stand” when it comes to pensions and several thought changes were being made too swiftly for them to alter their plans.

Women often weave paid work around their caring responsibilities and tend to be more heavily reliant on state pensions for their retirement income than men.

Just 26 per cent of the women surveyed knew how much they would get from the state and a third did not know when their state pension would be paid.

Additionally, 71 per cent said they did not feel confident about making decisions when saving for retirement while 76 per 
cent did not believe they would have enough income to be financially comfortable once stopping work.

Pensions Advisory Service chief executive Michelle Cracknell said: “Women are much more likely than men to have career breaks, work part-time and have low-paid service sector jobs. The price they pay is an incomplete state pension in their own right and not much, if any, private pension to add to it.”

A single-tier pension – affecting about 40 million people of working age when it comes into effect – will accompany Government plans to automatically enrol people into workplace pensions.

Ministers previously confirmed plans to bring forward the start date for the single-tier pension to April 2016.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Welcome changes to the state pension are being undermined by the sharp increase in the pension age.”

Pensions Minister Steve Webb said: “Our reforms to the state pension will give people more certainty about what they will get, benefiting women and carers in particular.”