Frontier Economics has supported the publication with an analysis of savings and retirement data and their implications.
The report explores how differences in economic circumstances mean that women are much more likely to be struggling with the rapidly rising costs of living. The research finds that women are much more likely to be concerned about the rising cost of living and taking action such as cutting down on essentials like food and utilities as well as reducing their pension savings. Surveys conducted between March and August this year also show that the problem is worsening as costs continue to mount up. This means that women will struggle to make up for the significant existing gender gap in pension wealth.
The report considers a number of demographic breakdowns to explore in more detail the impact of the cost of living crisis, as well as retirement preparation more generally.
- Income: Even when making allowances for differences in income, women remain more likely to be concerned about the rising cost of living, cutting back on essentials and are at risk of falling further behind men in their preparations for retirement.
- Ethnicity: There is a complex relationship between ethnicity, gender and financial situations, with some ethnic minorities doing significantly better than others. There is a more consistent picture of ethnic minority women (and men) favouring retirement preparations focused on sources of income beyond the state pension and company pensions, such as stocks and shares ISAs, property or support from friends and family.
- Single mothers: they are a particularly financially vulnerable group of women, with some of the highest rates of concern about the cost of living, cutting back on essentials such as good food and utilities, and difficulties in preparing for retirement.
Many of these issues are linked to slow real wage growth over the past decade. However, the report discusses some targeted policy recommendations that could alleviate some of the challenges faced by women; for example, more support for childcare, and doing more to engage ethnic minority women, both on their likely entitlements to state pension, and to support them in managing their different approaches to funding retirement.
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