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Women overtake men in workplace pensions

Steve Webb

A higher proportion of women are now in workplace pensions than men according to Office for National Statistics figures published today.

New data on workplace pension scheme membership drawn from the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings for 2018 shows where workplace pensions saving is heading.

It shows that among full-time and part-time workers, a higher proportion of women than men, are now members of workplace pension schemes.

This is partly driven by the fact pension membership rates are much higher in the public sector where women make up a larger proportion of the workforce.

But this does not mean that women are anywhere near achieving pension equality according Royal London director of policy Steve Webb.

He says: “While it is great news that far more women are now members of workplace pensions than in the past, there remains a pension gulf between men and women.

“Being a member of a pension is a great start, but the size of your pension will depend on how much you earn and how much you and your employer contribute.

“On both of these fronts, inequalities in the jobs market mean that women are still lagging far behind men when it comes to building up decent pensions.  On current trends, women’s pension equality could still be decades away.”

The statistics also show how auto-enrolment has boosted workplace saving as 76 per cent of UK employees were members of a workplace pension scheme in 2018, up from 73 per cent in 2017.

This is a 29 percentage points increase compared with 2012, when auto-enrolment was introduced.

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