2017 Pre-Budget Briefing: Pensions

Date Posted: Wednesday 1st November 2017

Our series of briefings on the gender impact of policy in 12 distinct areas ahead of the Autumn Budget 2017.



You can read the full Pre-Budget Briefing on Pensions here.


Key points:

• State pensions in the UK have been among the lowest in the OECD, nearly £40 per week less than the threshold of eligibility for the means-tested Pension Credit.

• The new Single Tier Pension is only just above the single rate of Pension Credit if paid in full, but women are less likely than men to have the required 35 years of contributions or credits.

• A tax-funded Citizens Pension, payable to each pensioner at a level similar to the Minimum Income Standard, would be a better way to ensure women have a basic independent income in retirement.

• Private pension schemes, promoted and subsidised by UK governments, are the main reason for the gender gap in pensions, placing women at a disadvantage due to their domestic roles and lower pay.

• Auto-enrolled private pensions, while including all employees, exclude the low paid and, like other private pensions, make no allowance for periods of caring, hence perpetuating the gender gap in pensions.

• We conclude that a Voluntary Earnings-related State Pension Addition (VESPA) – an auto-enrolled option that is fully portable and allows carer credits – would better meet women’s need for extra pension saving.


You can read the full Pre-Budget Briefing on Pensions here.