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North East ‘one of the worst areas for gender pensions gap’ says financial planner

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Liza Pontone, Chartered Financial Planner at Active

Active Chartered Financial Planners is encouraging women across the North East to talk about their pension provision in order to close the pension gap. In the region, women’s pension pots are on average 50 percent smaller than men’s, which is one of the largest differences in the UK.

Recent research by PensionBee found that the average male pension in the region is £16,531 compared to an average female pension of £8,209. In the UK overall, the average pensions for men and women respectively is £23,461 and £16,083, a difference of 31 percent.

Liza Pontone, a Chartered Financial Planner at Active and an ambassador for the Chartered Insurance Institute’s (CII) Insuring Women’s Futures Programme, is calling for women across the region to talk about how much they’re putting away for their retirement before it’s too late, to avoid missing out.

Liza is one of many financial experts taking part in Talk Money Week 18-22 November, aiming to spread the message to as many women as possible about how to make the most of their pension provision.

Liza said: “It’s sad to see that the North East has such a pronounced gender divide in pensions, but sadly, not surprising.

“I was shocked to read the CII’s statistics about women’s pensions, particularly those impacting age 20 to 40 years old. For example, the majority of women aged 25 now will accumulate a workplace pension that is 20 percent less than men the same age by the time they reach 65, and on average, men under 35 receive £217 a year more in employer contributions towards retirement than their female counterparts.

“Many older women also find themselves in difficulty and dependent on the pensions of male spouses or having to sell their homes to make up the shortfall. This is often due to taking time off earlier in their careers to raise families or to support older relatives, two roles which frequently fall to women.

“I hope that more women in the North East will start preparing for their pensions early in their careers and talk to pensions experts like myself about how to keep adding to their pension pot if they need to take an extended leave from work.

“If I could give women one piece of advice during Talk Money Week it would be, obviously, talk about your money! Staying quiet will not address the inequality in pensions.”

The information provided must not be considered as financial advice. We always recommend that you seek independentfinancial advice before making any financial decisions.

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