International Women’s Day: How can we close the pension gender gap?

Options Pensions is supporting the aims of International Women’s Day which this year is celebrating women's achievements, raising awareness against bias, and taking action for equality. It is celebrated on March 8 every year, supported by the United Nations and many other global organisations, and its history can be traced back over a century.
 
The 2020 theme is #EachforEqual with the focus on how everyone can help to create a gender equal world, and how we can all benefit from achieving that goal.
 
In the UK there has been a great deal of discussion and concern about gender equality in regard to the UK state pension – especially the impact on around four million women born in the 1950s whose retirement plans have been affected by a change in the law which raised the retirement age for women from 60 to 66. As it stands, from 2020 women will only be able to claim their UK state pension when they reach the age of 66, and from 2028 the entitlement age increases to 67. There’s also evidence that for most women their pension pots are well below that of men – for example, a report last year by the Pensions Policy Institute found that for those in their early 60s, the median private pension wealth of women is only one third that of men. 
 
With this context in mind our Managing Director, Christine Hallett (who has over 30 years’ industry experience with expertise in both SIPP and corporate pensions) says that today is an ideal time for women to reassess their retirement plans. Whether or not you start that process today, reassessing you retirement plans is always a good idea – particularly if you are in the generation of women affected by the UK state pension entitlement changes. 
 
In addition to changes in state pension entitlement or amendments to pensions legislation, financial planning can also be affected by changes in personal circumstances. One example is divorce. It’s an emotionally (and often financially) draining experience – and, understandably, tax considerations are not usually the primary concern for couples going through divorce. However, as this recent FT Adviser report about upcoming changes to capital gains tax rules in the UK illustrates, it’s important to take advice about your own unique circumstances because the tax landscape is constantly shifting and making the best decision for you can have a big impact on your plans for a secure financial future.
 
If you don’t currently have an independent financial adviser you can find one here