Pension Gap Between Sexes in Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire has the biggest pension gap between men and women in the UK. New research shows that women retiring locally this year, will get £7,903 less than men. Nationally, the figure is £7,424.
According to the survey by Prudential, women planning to retire in 2010 will receive £12,169 while the average annual pension for men is £19,593.
The margin between men and women's pensions has always existed but despite efforts by the government that gap now appears to be widening.
"It's not something we expected to see" said Karin Brown, Director of pensions and annuities at Prudential. "With legislation on equal pay and women's salaries starting to catch up we envisaged a narrowing of the gap. We're hoping it's just a blip"
Historically women's pensions have not been as much as men's.
Simon Neal, from Cornerstone Financial Planning in Oxford said: "The main reason for the discrepency is women tend to take career breaks to have children."
"Sometimes they'll then have to work part-time, so they either can't afford to pay for a pension or the employer doesn't offer a scheme."
In recent years, pension incomes across both genders have been falling. "Pensions have had a lot of bad press lately and some of that is justified, but they're still the most efficient way of saving for retirement," said Simon Neal.
"They're inflexible - which is a good thing because you can't touch the money until you reach a certain age - and you get tax relief added on."
But according to Mr. Neal the best advice for both men and women is to start early.
"The sooner you start paying into a pension the better. Even if it's just a small amount in your early twenties, you'll have more time and money to prepare for your future".