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Saturday 2nd March 2024

Must-know money: Women’s pension pots 35% smaller than men’s  

Women's pensions lower and nervous to invest

From the great gender pension chasm to shifting food shopping habits and women afraid of investments – here are our favourite must know money stories this week to help you get your head around your personal finances. 

Women miss out in “great gender pension chasm” 

Women’s private pension pots in the UK are worth 35% less than those of their male colleagues by age 55, according to a major government study. 

The data shows that, on average, for every for every £100 accumulated in men’s private pensions, women have just £65, leading to the possible loss of thousands of pounds of retirement income. 

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Lower overall earnings, time off for childcare and other caring duties, along with the greater numbers of women in the part-time workforce, are all thought to be factors of the imbalance. 

While previous studies have revealed a gender pension gap, this is the first time the Government has revealed the true scale of the problem, reports Miles Brignall for The Guardian

The pensions minister, Laura Trott, said: “The success of automatic enrolment has transformed the UK pensions landscape and brought millions of women into pension saving for the very first time. However, while the participation gap has closed, the wealth gap persists. 

“The publication of an official annual measure will help us track the collective efforts of government, industry and employers to close the gender pensions gap.” 

Massive shift in food shopping habits 

There has been a significant shift in our food shopping habits since the pandemic, based on data compiled by analyst firm Kantar, reports Daniel Thomas for BBC News. 

Based on Kantar’s findings, the BBC identified five ways shopping habits changed due to soaring food prices and the cost-of-living crisis.  

  • Shoppers now have less frequent supermarket visits, but data shows higher volume of sales – indicating higher spending overall.  
  • The shift to online has slowed with only 11.7% of UK grocery spending online, down from 15.4% in February 2021. While many older people gave up shopping online after the lockdowns, people also enjoy taking a trip out to shops and seeing other people now. 
  • Shoppers are swapping established brands for cheaper supermarket own-label products to combat food prices and their fastest rate rises in 45 years. 
  • Sales at discounters such as Aldi and Lidl have soared, as customers look to save. 
  • Shoppers are increasingly turning to loyalty schemes for discounts, as supermarkets revamp their loyalty cards to offer in-store or personalised deals. 

Three in four women too nervous to invest 

74% women do not invest and are therefore missing out on building wealth and long-term financial security, according to investment firm Wealthify. 

By comparison, 58% of men said they are not investors, suggesting men are less nervous about dabbling in the stock market, writes Ruth Emery for MoneyWeek.  

However, Wealthify data shows 61% of women have definite future savings goals, compared to only 49% of men.  

The research found that women did not invest because they were too nervous, lacked confidence and did not know where to start, ultimately preferring to leave their money in cash savings accounts instead.  

Kalpana Fitzpatrick, digital editor of MoneyWeek says: “But with interest rates on these accounts lagging behind inflation, it means they are not only losing out on the power of compounding, but they are also missing out on potentially hundreds of pounds in returns over the long-term.” 

Findings from another survey by Boring Money reveals a £599bn gap between men and women’s holdings in stocks and shares, ISAs, investment accounts, and private pensions. 

Photo Credits: Pexels

Richa Ved

Richa is a young Indian graduate from Warwick Business School, aspiring to find her niche in the media industry. She has a passion for writing and a keen interest in financial affairs. If you don’t find her working, she’s probably having a pizza (her favourite!) and a pint of beer somewhere.

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