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DWP: Women and men on equal footing for workplace pension participation

Pension-pot-700.jpgThe same proportion of men and women now contribute to a workplace pension, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Take-up of workplace pensions in the private sector has increased from 40 per cent of eligible women in 2012 to 73 per cent in 2016, the Press Association reports.

Take-up by eligible men increased from 43 per cent to 73 per cent over the same period.

Pensions minister Guy Opperman says: “Thanks to automatic enrolment, future generations of women will enjoy the same retirement provision as men and will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of a good private income.”

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However, Royal London policy director and former pensions minister Steve Webb warns the Government not to become complacent about more women contributing to workplace pensions.

Webb says: “On average, women will still end up with much smaller pensions than men. This is because they still earn less on average, they are more likely to work for firms who are contributing at the legal minimum, and they are more likely to spend periods out of paid work with caring responsibilities when little or nothing is going into their pensions. Much more needs to be done to put women on a level playing field when it comes to workplace pensions.”

The Government announced in December plans to lower the age people will be auto-enrolled into a workplace pension from 22 to 18 as part of its 2017 review into auto-enrolment. That proposal is expected to take effect from the mid-2020s.

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