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Helpline callers reveal women’s pension fears

Seven out of 10 callers to the Pensions Advisory Service’s dedicated women’s helpline are not making any private pension provision.

Only 16 per cent of women get a full basic state pension on the basis of their own contributions compared with a figure of 78 per cent of men.

The PAS received nearly 8,000 enquiries on a helpline it set up between October 18 and December 10 last year and it sent out 60,000 information booklets in response to the calls.

Forty-nine per cent of the callers were women in the 50-59 age bracket and a third were over 60. Only 6 per cent of callers were under 39.A third of calls were over confusion on entitlement to the state pension.

An encouraging sign was that 38 per cent of 16-29-year-old women are making private provision for their retirement. Thirty-two per cent in the 50-60 age category are making private provision while the figures are 39 per cent of those aged 30 to 39 and 41 per cent aged 40 to 49.

PAS technical director Des Hamilton says: “Many women are concerned they can be very exposed in middle or late middle life due to not having had the chance to make private provision in the past.”

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