For Richer or Poorer
According to the Fawcett Society, (a charity which campaigns for equality between women and men in the UK on pay, pensions, poverty, justice and politics) women’s pensions are ‘quite simply a disgrace’.
The UK state pensions system (which employed people and their employers pay into through national insurance) is based on an outdated model:
- It assumes that women will rely on their husbands’ income in retirement: even though women now make up nearly half of the working population.
- The state pension is based on contributions you make while you are working: so most women who stay at home to look after a family will lose out.
So what does all this mean?
- For every pound of income that men in a pensioner couple receive, women get less than 32 pence.
- Less than 20% of women qualify for a state pension, compared to 98% of men.
So why are women’s pensions so bad?
After all, people don’t have to depend solely on the state pension. There are lots of private pension schemes, and people can save up for their old age.
However, this is the current situation in Scotland:
- 42% of Scottish women work part time: this affects the entitlement to state pension
- 24% of Scottish women are in work which is classed as low skilled: less likely to have access to company pensions
It is more important than ever that there are opportunities available for all those who want to work. Attracting older workers into the labour market makes sense, as well as encouraging all ages to consider career areas and jobs that are non traditional.