The fight for equality might have come a long way, but women are still likely to be less well off than men. The gender pay gap remains at an average of 8.9% for full-time workers*, and women are less likely to have invested enough into their pension fund**, with the average female pensioner currently bringing in £7K a year less than men. Esther Mukoro, finance coach and founder of personal finance blog for women, moneynuggets.co.uk, tells you how to take control and make sure you aren't missing out.
Pick up a pension
Men are still more likely to have an active private pension (56% compared to 51% of women***) and, because of the gender pay gap and natural career breaks, it’s likely to be bigger, too. ‘If you haven’t started a private pension yet, there’s no need to panic,’ says Esther. ‘It’s never too early or too late. Firstly, ask yourself the questions, “What do I want to do in my retirement? Do I want to travel, continue working, help family, learn something new or all of these?” If you understand the purpose of your saving, it’s something to work towards and it keeps you motivated. With that goal in mind, you can then work out how much you’ll need when you retire and what can you do today to work towards that number.’
Esther adds that it’s important to save regularly. ‘Develop the habit of putting an amount away every month, then, every time you gain a pay rise, for example, add a small percentage.’
She adds: ‘If you’re working, you’ll have been auto-enrolled onto a workplace pension; take up the offer, don’t opt-out. You will not miss that money from your pay after a while and your employer will contribute to your pension, too.’
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