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British women miss out on pension benefits

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29/03/2006

Women are missing out on pension tax relief as six in 10 do not contribute to a pension fund.

Thousands of women who have taken career breaks to have or raise their children are missing out on the tax benefits of stakeholder pensions, according to HSBC. Research from the bank showed the level of understanding about pensions is rising but that 44% of such women still do not pay into a pension as they mistakenly believe they have to be working to do so.

Missing out on contributions for as little as 18 months can result in a retirement fund of £149,000, compared to £165,000 – the amount a 27 year old woman making monthly contributions of £100 would receive through a stakeholder pension upon retirement.

Ian Martin, head of pensions and retirement income at HSBC, said: “While there has been some improvement in the level of understanding around pensions, the number of women delaying contributions or not contributing to a pension at all is worrying. This will seriously compromise their final retirement fund – particularly for those women who stop making contributions for a number of years while raising their children at home.”

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