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Women receive £47k less in employer pension contributions

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Women are missing out on tens of thousands of pounds of employer pension contributions according to a study.

The shortfall is down to the gender pay gap, career breaks, and men typically working in sectors with more established and generous pension schemes, the research from Zurich UK suggests.

The report, which is based on analysis of more than 250,000 workplace pension plans and is one the largest ever studies of workplace savings, said the ‘gap’ could mean women miss out on £47,000 by the end of their working life.

It found that last year, men under 35 received on average £217 more in employer pension contributions than females of the same age.

It also said between 2013 and 2016, men have benefitted from pension contributions equating to 7.8% of their salary each year from their employers compared with 7.0% for women.

The difference means the value of the employer pension contribution was £3,495 for men and £2,489 for women – a difference of more than £1,000 over the four-year period.

Rose St Louis of Zurich Insurance, said: “The impact of the gender pay gap on women’s pension pots is no secret, but this difference in the contributions that they receive from their employer presents a serious – and growing – problem. The ‘triple effect’ of smaller salaries, career breaks for women and lower contribution rates needs to be addressed: we can’t ignore a £47,000 shortfall.

“Workplace engagement and guidance has a central role to play in helping women make the most of their saving potential while they are working full time, but it is now crucial that greater focus is placed on ensuring that this gap is not allowed to grow any further.”

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