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Income drawdown advisers Portal Financial have issued a warning concerning the retirement situation facing women regardless of the new the new auto-enrolment.

Government figures show a reduction in people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance and unemployment at its lowest in 25 years, However the unpaid roles caring for children and the elderly are most often taken up by women, not men working part time around these duties. Women in part-time make up three-quarters of part time employment and 63% of these earn £7 or less, but such jobs are often low paid with minimal promotion opportunities.

Auto-enrolment works by taking into account earnings above the threshold of £10,000, which excludes many people in low-paid and part-time work. More than three-quarters of women do not think they will be financially comfortable in retirement, and 71% are not confident in making decisions about retirement saving, which shows auto-enrolment is not helping those that most need it.

The managing director of Portal Financial, Jamie Smith-Thompson made this statement:

“Auto-enrolment is helping millions of people who otherwise would have had no pension provisions, but much more needs to be done to protect women. There was a time when they were able to rely on their husband’s pensions because they had been at-home mums, but with half of marriages ending in divorce and more women working, this is no longer an option.

“It is also worrying that so many women lack confidence in planning for their retirement. This highlights the importance of independent advice, which can explain the possible options available, such as completing their National Insurance record, being able to claim a percentage of their husband’s pension, or the full amount for widows, and claiming backdated pension rights with an Employment Tribunal under the right circumstances.”


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