Disrupted working patterns leave women unprepared for retirement

  • 28% of women don’t know how much they have saved in their pension
  • 42% have never estimated their retirement income needs
  • Unsurprisingly, half (49%) of women aren’t confident about retiring comfortably

Aegon’s Retirement Confidence survey* has revealed that when it comes to retiring comfortably, confidence is significantly lower among women compared to men. Half of women (49%) say they’re not confident, compared to a third (33%) of men.

When it comes to a secure retirement, having plans and reviewing savings is key. It’s concerning that more than one in four (28%) of women don’t know how much they’ve saved in their pension, compared to just 9% of men. Without a clear overview of savings, it’s impossible for anyone to set a realistic plan for the future or allow them to assess whether or not they’re on track for retirement.

Taking time to estimate income needs in retirement helps set realistic saving target. It’s quite telling that women are more likely to have never estimated their income needs for retirement, 42% of women compared to 27% of men. The danger of someone not saving enough over the course of their working life means they may have to work for longer or face the prospect of running out of money in retirement.

Kate Smith, Head of Pensions at Aegon, said:

“Despite a drive towards gender equality, women face different obstacles during their working life when it comes to saving for retirement.

“Women tend to be responsible for raising children or caring for elderly parents and consequently spend more time out of the workforce. As a result they have a more disrupted savings journey, so it’s crucial they actively engage with their pension savings early on. On top of this, women live longer, meaning their savings need to stretch longer. They also have the addition of a gender pay gap to contend with, meaning the odds are definitely stacked against them to achieve a comfortable retirement.

“However, it’s not a lost cause. The crucial first step is understanding what their current situation is and what action can be taken to address the situation. Small steps now can make all the difference later.”

Kate Smith of Aegon's top 7 tips for a richer retirement:

  • Start saving early and get into the habit of saving regularly
  • Create and write down a long-term financial plan for yourself that includes a ‘plan B’
  • Don't opt out of your workplace pension. Save enough to maximise your employer's pension contribution
  • Work out how much you've saved in pensions and other savings you've targeted for retirement, such as ISAs
  • Get a state pension forecast online - gov.uk/check-state-pension. Make up any gaps in your National Insurance record to make sure you get the full state pension
  • Regularly review your plan, your pension and savings accounts. This is especially important for women returning to work from maternity leave and those whose children have reached school age, when nursery and childcare costs are no longer an expense
  • Consider getting professional financial advice

Further information

*Retirement Confidence survey conducted by Aegon with 801 customers and non-customers in October 2017.


Neil Cameron

PR Manager

Aegon UK


Tel: 0131 549 3393

Mob: 07972 403 757


Jonathan Henderson

Head of PR

Aegon UK


Mob: 07972404252


Notes to Editors

  • In the UK, Aegon offers retirement, workplace savings and protection solutions to around two million customers and employs approximately 3,450 staff. More information: www.aegon.co.uk  
  • As an international life insurance, pensions and asset management company based in The Hague, Aegon has businesses in over twenty five markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Aegon companies employ over 28,000 people and have millions of customers across the globe. Further information: www.aegon.com  

Aegon is a brand name of Scottish Equitable plc. Scottish Equitable plc, registered office: Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh EH12 9SE. Registered in Scotland (No. 144517). Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Financial Services Register number 165548. An Aegon company. www.aegon.co.uk


© 2017 Aegon UK plc.