06 July 2012Back to news home
Just three months before automatic enrolment begins to take effect, NEST research released today finds women lack confidence in their retirement savings and many are relying on their partners' pensions to see them through.
A quarter (25 per cent) of women say they are not confident at all that what they have put in place so far will be enough to provide for them in retirement, compared to just 13 per cent of men. A fifth (20 per cent) of women also counts their partner's pension provision as part of their own retirement plans, compared to just 9 per cent of men who do the same.
However, women responded more positively than men to every indicator of reasons to stay opted into a workplace pension. Approximately 5.5 million women will benefit from automatic enrolment, which comes into force from October 2012.
Around two thirds (63 per cent) of women cite the fact that someone else is sorting out their retirement as a reason to stay opted in, compared to 54 per cent of men who say the same, and nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of women agree it would be the relief they could stop worrying they hadn’t done anything for retirement, compared to 65 per cent of men who agree with this.
Receiving employer contributions is a more important factor for women (74 per cent) than men (64 per cent) as is being able to take a break in contributions, with 75 per cent of women agreeing this was an important factor in them staying opted in, compared to 69 per cent of men.
Speaking alongside Marta Phillips, CEO of the Pensions Advisory Service and Deidre Flood, Prudential's retirement expert, at an event organised by Prudential earlier this week, Helen Dean, Managing Director, NEST, said about these findings:
'Poverty in retirement is a serious issue for women. Automatic enrolment will allow millions of women to benefit from a workplace pension for the first time and should be a major confidence boost.
'NEST has been specifically designed for the new generation of savers benefitting from automatic enrolment. NEST has low charges, which is important as this means our members keep more of their retirement savings.
'For women, who are more likely to take time out of work, the charges they pay for a NEST pension get lower if they stop contributions for a while. If their circumstances change, for example if they want to take time out to have a child, they can stop contributing for a while and start again when they go back to work.'
Notes to editors:
Social media sites and NEST's 'Tomorrow is worth saving for' campaign
NEST has launched a national campaign called 'Tomorrow is worth saving for'. Via social media, it asks consumers, 'what do you do now that you will still want to do when you're older? Going to the cinema, socialising with friends, going to the football?' and asks consumers to join a conversation to tell NEST what they think makes tomorrow worth saving for.
The campaign is aimed at raising awareness of NEST and automatic enrolment. NEST wants to help consumers to put pensions in the context of their lives today and think about what difference a pension could make to their later lives.
More information on our campaign can be found on our social media sites:
About the research:
There are approximately 15 million private sector workers eligible for automatic enrolment. Of these, around 38 per cent are women.
a) According to the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 55 per cent of the women eligible for automatic enrolment earn under £20,000, compared to 25 per cent of men.
b) Women who qualify for automatic enrolment earn on average £8,500 less than men.
c) According to the latest Labour Force Survey, just over a fifth of women eligible for automatic-enrolment work part time, in comparison to 3 per cent of men.
NEST's research focused on the 70 per cent of workers who are eligible for automatic enrolment and are not currently in a qualifying scheme. The research surveyed a representative sample of 1,847 jobholders. Those surveyed were:
- Aged at least 22 and under State Pension age
- Working or ordinarily works in the UK
- Employed in the private or charitable sectors
- Not currently members of a qualifying pension scheme
- Earning more than £7,475 per year from a single job
Key findings include:
a) 24 per cent of female workers said they had been out of work for more than six months at a time during their working life. Of those, 83 per cent said that they had taken time off to look after their children.
b) 20 per cent of women say they are relying on a partner who has a pension as part of their retirement planning, compared to 9 per cent of men who say the same.
c) 25 per cent of women are not confident at all that what they have put in place so far will be sufficient to provide for their retirement, compared to just 13 per cent of men who say the same.
d) What are the most important factors that would make you more likely to stay in a pension scheme long term:
The fact that it would mean you had some savings growing ready for your retirement
Men: 77 per cent
Women: 82 per cent
The fact that someone else was sorting out your retirement so you didn't have to
Men: 54 per cent
Women: 63 per cent
The fact that you could stop worrying that you hadn't done anything about your retirement
Men: 65 per cent
Women: 72 per cent
The fact that you can take a break in your contributions
Men: 69 per cent
Women: 75 per cent
Not wanting to lose contributions from your employer
Men: 77 per cent
Women: 82 per cent
The survey was conducted independently by Intrepid on behalf of NEST. Interviews were conducted by telephone between the 23 September 2011 and 14 November 2011.
Key facts about NEST: