Mind the gender savings gap: How women can save more for retirement

Posted 11.10.2021

Despite society’s advancements in narrowing the gender equality gap, there still remains a significant difference between the way men and women handle and perceive wealth.

Women can face different challenges towards money and saving than men. Many have had to take time out of work to care for young children or look after a sick family member which may affect their earning potential and the ability to save.

According the Office for National Statistics (ONS), women are paid just £380,000 on average over their lifetimes, compared with £643,000 for men.[1] Women also live longer than men, so it’s even more important for them to ensure they safeguard their financial future.

Thankfully, women have the potential to close this glaring gap sooner to protect themselves financially for a successful and more secure future:

Saving for the future

Starting a pension plan as early as possible will help give you the best potential for your returns and help ease any worries about retirement. Spend some time analysing your income versus expenditure and treat your monthly pension contribution as a vital expenditure.

Take full advantage of your personal tax allowances – the standard amount for the current tax year is £12,570. That’s any money you earn through work, property, investments etc, or from your pensions savings – completely free of tax!

Adopt a “saver” rather than “spender” mentality

In our experience most women love to shop, and we’re not saying you need to sacrifice everything and stop treating yourself. It simply means be more mindful with the choices you make and how you invest your hard-earned money.

Consider investments

Once you have calculated your income versus expenditure planning, if you find you have surplus cash left over each month, it would be a wise consideration to put it into an ISA. While there are no guarantees of returns, and any investment can fall as well as rise in value, over the long term Stocks & Shares ISAs historically have produced greater returns than Cash ISAs and have the potential to beat inflation.

Protect your income

According to research women are less likely to safeguard themselves against the financial impact of serious illness or death. According to Canada Life, more than half of women aged between 25 and 45 don’t have any insurance against loss of earnings through serious illness or death. Women in this group have also not considered their or their family’s protection requirements.[2]

A women’s illness or death is likely to have a huge impact on young children, so considering life insurance, income protection cover and critical illness is vital to help protect you and your family. Income protection will support you and your family if you are unable to work due to serious illness. This will help to reduce financial worries and allow you to focus on making a full recovery.

If you would like to understand more about how you can plan for a more secure financial future, speak to our financial adviser who can offer tailored solutions specific to your needs.

The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested. An investment in equities does not provide the security of capital associated with a deposit account with a bank or building society.

The levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time and are generally dependent on individual circumstances.


[1] Office for National Statistics, Human capital estimates, 2019

[2] Canada Life, Up to £25,000 lost to UK households if women fall ill or die, March 2018

Retire at 55

Download our “Retire at 55” Guide and get tips and strategies to make early retirement a realistic possibility.

Download Now

See our latest news and updates on our LinkedIn profile below.

View Our LinkedIn Account