Women and Pensions.
Women are very comfortable talking about many “P-word” topics: their partners, parenting and parties and women are even getting better at talking about that promotion at work! But bring up pensions and the conversations often come to a grinding halt. Ask a woman how she will spend her retirement years and she can tell you all about the great plans she has, but not how these plans will be funded. Given that a 65 year old women retiring today can expect to live until age 86, that’s a 21 year retirement to fund!
A survey (May 2015) on peoples attitudes to pensions conducted by the Irish Association of Pension Funds shows that 55% of women believe that they have not saved enough to give themselves a reasonable standard of living in retirement while over 70% of women surveyed would be in favour of the Government introducing a mandatory pension scheme to encourage more people to save for their retirement.
So if women would be prepared to save into a pension if it was mandatory, why are they so reluctant to do something about it themselves? A bit like the spring clean, it’s one of those things women have been meaning to get around to but never do!
There are many reasons why women do not save into a pension – they are in part time or short term contracts making it difficult for them to contribute regularly to pensions, they take time out of the workplace to care for children or they are self employed. But the top reason women cite for not contributing to a pension is affordability.
An IBEC survey (October 2016) found that 71% of companies plan to increase basic pay in 2017. So ladies, if you’re in line for a pay rise this year, do yourself a favour and use the extra money to start your pension today. Talk to your partner, family and friends about how they are planning to fund their retirement; speak to your employer about the pensions they have available to you or talk to an impartial financial advisor, like Harvest, who will put you in the right direction.
At Harvest, half of our financial advisors are women so we really understand your needs and your circumstances.
Pension Planning Tips for Women
Start your pension today! However little you can afford to save, the sooner you start saving, the more you should have in your retirement.
If you see yourself as a pension saver rather than a pension investor, make sure that your fund is invested in lower-risk assets that you are comfortable with.
Secure your contributory State pension by working as long as necessary.
If you are married and relying on your partner’s pension in retirement, make sure you understand the pension, and what you can expect from it.
If you are separated, get your own advice in relation to splitting the pension under a pension adjustment order.