Published On: Wed, Jun 12th, 2019

State pension UK: Parliament urged to address Gender Pension Gap | Personal Finance | Finance


According to research by the Chartered Insurance Institute, women aged 65 are currently retiring with just one fifth of the pensions of the average man that age. Additionally, women taking a five-year career gap will have a 33 per cent less pension at the age of 65 than her male counterpart. The figures were revealed in October 2018, in the report titled Solving Women’s Pension Deficit to Improve Outcomes for All. Recently, the national financial advisory firm LEBC Group wrote to the Women and Equalities Committee, asking for the select committee to approach the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

LEBC are calling for the committee to request that the DWP addresses the clarity around pension communications for women.

LEBC Director of Public Policy, Kay Ingram said, “The Gender Pension Gap is an issue that Parliament must address.

“With women at 65 currently retiring with just one fifth of the pensions of their male peers, the gap must be closed before another generation retire.”

Ms Ingram told Express.co.uk: “With 360,000 receiving incorrect State pension forecasts, only 50 per cent of eligible couples claiming the marriage allowance and 90 per cent of those eligible for Specified Child Care credit not yet claiming it, it is clear that Government departments are failing to communicate.

“Women who prioritise their families over their careers and save the State millions by caring for relatives are losing State pension credits as a result.

“We want the Women and Equalities Select Committee to examine these issues which we hope will result in better retirement provision for all carers.”

Ms Ingram also said: “We believe that one of the key drivers of the Gender Pension Gap to be a lack of clarity in communications delivered to women around National Insurance credits and State Pension entitlement.

“Each year a NI contribution or credit is not claimed costs £250 per year of State Pension entitlement.

“That is why we are calling on the Committee to probe the quality of communication from the DWP and process around these issues.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “The number of people receiving Specified Adult Childcare Credits has risen substantially since they were introduced in 2011, and we encourage everyone who might benefit to apply for the credits to which they’re entitled.

“Under the new State Pension, we expect that by 2030 more than three million women will be getting an average of around £550 more each year compared to the old system.

“Through automatic enrolment the proportion of women in the private sector without a workplace pension has been cut from 60 per cent in 2012 to 20 per cent in 2017.”

Information on how to apply for Specified Adult Childcare Credits and the eligibility criteria can be found at Gov.uk.

Express.co.uk has been told that National Insurance (NI) contributions and credits are a matter for HMRC.

LEBC have recently published the document Gender Pension Gap – A Practical Guide.

The publication highlights how women may be able to improve their state pension, as well as their private pension provision.

Research published by the Office for National Statistics in the report The gender gap in unpaid care provision: is there an impact on health and economic position?, released in May 2013, revealed that across England and Wales, in 2011, females were notably more likely to be unpaid carers than males.

The Gov.uk website details how one’s state pension is based on their National Insurance record, with the full amount requiring 35 qualifying years.

It also states that parents who are not working may get National Insurance credits if they are not working, such as by claiming Child Benefit for a child under 12, getting Carer’s Allowance, or getting Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.

The state pension age changes for women was recently taken to the High Court after a judicial review sought by the campaign group Backto60 was granted.

Backto60 Campaign Director Joanne Welch told Express.co.uk: “50s women have suffered lifelong inequity, like the pension gap, the pay gap, the maternity gap. It’s like, ‘Mind the Gap’.”

In a statement ahead of the hearing, a spokesperson for the DWP said: “The government decided more than 20 years ago that it was going to make the State Pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality, and this has been clearly communicated.

“People are living longer so we need to raise the age at which all of us can draw a State Pension so it is sustainable now and for future generations.”



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