Other Pensions

Date Posted: Sunday 1st June 2003

WBG's analyses of the gender impact of the state and private pension systems.

PensionsSocial Infrastructure


The current British pension system, including state and private pensions, is grossly inadequate for most women. It neither meets women’s needs nor takes account of their different life experiences, meaning that too many women face poverty in old age.

When it comes to pensions women lose out because:

  • Pension systems are designed around a model of someone in full time work throughout their adult life. Women’s caring responsibilities mean their working patterns generally do not fit this model. They are more likely to have periods out of paid work and periods of part time work.
  • They continue to earn less than men, so are less likely to be able to save into private pensions.
  • They have less access to occupational pensions than men.
  • They live longer than men and get lower rates on annuities.


Some previous Women’s Budget Group briefings on pensions:

WBG Comment on DWP Green Paper ‘Simplicity, security and choice: Working and saving for retirement’ (March 2003) Available here.

WBG response to House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs Call for Evidence on the Aspects of the Economics of an Ageing Population (March 2003) Available here