Gender gap in expected retirement income is narrowing

The gender gap in expected retirement incomes has fallen to £5,750, down from £6,500 in 2011, according to research by Prudential.

Its Class of 2012 study into the finances and expectations of those planning to retire this year found that the average woman expects an annual income of £12,250 in retirement, compared with an average expected income of £18,000 for men.

The research also found that 49% of women believe they will not have enough income for a comfortable retirement, compared with 40% of men.

The retirement gender gap is widest in the south east of England, where women retiring in 2012 expect to have £7,878 less income a year on average than men – £12,259 compared with £20,137.

The retirement gender gap is narrowest in the north west, with women in the region retiring on an average of £13,087 a year, compared with £15,632 for men.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “The pension gender gap appears to be narrowing, but there is still a long way to go.

“The practical steps that women can take to improve their retirement income prospects include maintaining pension contributions during career breaks and, if possible, making voluntary national insurance (NI) contributions after returning to work.†

“It is imperative for anyone looking to secure a sufficient income when they retire to begin saving as much as they can, as early as they can, and to do so regularly through life.

“For those who are still working, it has never been a more important time to save into a pension.”

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