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There's a big difference between how men and women are planning for retirement

A new survey has revealed women are less likely to be putting money aside for old age.

Men are almost three times more likely to be taking steps to prepare for retirement.
Men are almost three times more likely to be taking steps to prepare for retirement.
Image: Shutterstock/ratmaner

WOMEN ARE FAR less likely to be preparing for their retirement than men, according to new research in Irish pensions.

While the gender pay gap is an issue that has been brought to the fore by a number of recent high-profile cases, the gender pension gap is another problem that is lurking behind.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar recently described pensions as being “an issue that been long-fingered for too long” and announced plans to bring in an auto-enrolment pension system by 2021.

Now a new survey conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of insurer Aviva has found that a lack of preparation for retirement is particularly acute among Irish women.

The survey found that just 8% of Irish women are taking steps to ensure they have adequate income after they retire. The comparative figure for men is almost three times higher but is still at the low rate of 22%.

Respondents to the survey were also asked it they were concerned they won’t have enough money when they retire: 37% of women said that they were worried compared to 27% of men.

The survey also found that 44% of women say they don’t understand pensions and investments, compared to 27% of men.

Women are also more likely to continue working after they retire. The survey found that 5% of women work full-time in retirement to supplement their pension income, compared to just 1% of men.

Currently, women make up almost half (46%) of the State’s workforce.

“The existence of a gender pension gap is hardly surprising, given that women earn less and in many cases spend less time in the workforce than men because they take maternity leave and time out of their careers to care for their children,” Aviva’s Ann O’Keeffe said upon publication of the survey.

Women are also more likely to work part-time – in fact, women account for 70% of part-time workers in Ireland. But it is worrying that women are so unprepared and lacking information on how best to prepare for their retirement.

The State’s contributory pension is currently €235-a-week but it has been mooted to rise in the upcoming Budget by an extra €5.

Read: Growing old in Ireland: ‘If you want support, you’re going to have to pay for it’ >

Read: Leo Varadkar: ‘The State can’t solve everyone’s problems for them’ >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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