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Women 'facing pension misery'
May 16, 2003
- The report, by charity Age Concern and equal rights organisation the
Fawcett Society, found that, on average, women receive far lower pensions
study concluded that the pay gap which already exists between men and
women during their working lives becomes a vast pension gulf in later
the report's authors blamed a large part of female pensioner poverty on
the way the state pension system works.
study found that some women have to live on a reduced income on retirement
because they took time off work to bring up children and therefore did not
make sufficient National Insurance contributions to qualify for the full
some cases, women opted for the reduced-rate 'married woman's stamp'
National Insurance contributions in the 1960s and 1970s.
return for lower contributions, they waived their right to the basic state
pension until their husband reached 65, when they would receive 60% of his
report concluded that the state pension system was "outdated"
and "littered with obstacles for women trying to build up a pension
in their own right".
is more, many women have traditionally worked in jobs which do not come
with high value occupational pensions.
report found that women got just 32p for every £1 of income received by
men in a pensioner couple.
order to address the gender wealth imbalance in retirement the report's
authors proposed a number of measures.
The introduction of
a better and more flexible system of state pension credits for those who
care for children or older people.
A guarantee that
every woman - whether in employment, caring or unable to work for reasons
such as a disability - receives a decent state pension that covers basic
costs and is free of a means-test.
education and information to try and close the advice gap.
for women to build-up higher value company and personal pensions
the government announced in its pension green paper plans to offer
incentives to workers who choose to work on beyond the age of 65.
radical reform of the state pension was not touched upon.
current state pension system is not working for women as it is based on
the old assumption of men as the breadwinners and women as stay-at-home
carers," said Katherine Rake, director of the Fawcett Society.