International Women’s Day 2021: How can we close the pension gender gap?

We’re supporting the aims of International Women’s Day which celebrates women's achievements, raises awareness against bias, and takes action for equality. Celebrated on March 8 every year, its history can be traced back more than a century to the days when women were campaigning for electoral reform. Today, it is supported by the United Nations and many other global organisations.
The 2021 theme is #ChooseToChallenge with the focus on encouraging everyone to ‘hold their hand up high’ and call out gender bias and inequality. 
In our field of expertise, we’re aware that 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. Last year, two women affected by that decision took their case to the High Court. Supported by the BackTo60 campaign group, they chose to challenge the Department of Work and Pensions’ decision. The High Court rejected their appeal – a decision which many campaigners see as an example of why #IWD2021 and #ChooseToChallenge are so relevant. As it stands, women are only 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, this report 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 right now, reassessing your 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. However, it’s important to take advice about your own unique circumstances because the tax landscape is constantly shifting, and that means making the best decision for your circumstances can have a big impact on your plans for a secure financial future.
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