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Men more ready for unexpected expenses than women

Written by: Emma Lunn
More British male employees are confident that they could handle a major unexpected expense than female employees, according to a report by Aegon.

The pensions company found 30% of men are confident they could cope with a surprise cost compared to 21% of women.

The study also found that 72% of female employees worry about money compared to 72% of men.

Aegon’s financial wellbeing survey was conducted prior to the coronavirus outbreak and highlights a potentially worrying trend, given the situation is likely to have deteriorated further in recent months for both men and women.

Under pressure

A third (33%) of female employees said that feeling under-prepared for a financial emergency is a key cause of their money worries, versus just 26% of men.

And more women (32%) than men (27%) reported they were just getting by financially.

A quarter (26%) of women said they feel under more financial pressure than usual when it came to birthdays of family and friends compared to just 17% of men.

Two thirds (64%) of women said they felt under more financial pressure when it came to Christmas compared to just 50% of men.

Financial education at work

The survey also found that men are more likely to have access to financial education through their employer than women, as only 12% of female respondents worked for employers that offered financial education compared to 16% of men.

Female employees, however, showed a greater appetite for support to help with their money worries than their male peers.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of female employees said they would find general information highlighting steps to improve their financial wellbeing useful compared to 69% of men.

Linda Whorlow, managing director of workplace at Aegon UK, says: “The coronavirus pandemic is likely to have exacerbated gender gaps across the board, and financial resilience and money worries will be central to this impact.

“Research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has already revealed that mothers are 14% more likely to have been furloughed than fathers. This compounds the pre-pandemic gender gap that women are more likely to be in lower paid jobs, working part-time or on a career break to raise a family, contributing to the state of their financial wellbeing. So their financial health is likely to suffer the most.

“However, the reality is that very few people, male or female, will have escaped the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis.

“The expected growth in money worries among people is a huge cause for concern. So it’s important that employers take considered steps to help improve awareness and financial education with their own employees, in their own workplaces.”

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