In June, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published a new report detailing the gender pension gap in the UK. The study places the gender pension gap at 35% for private pensions and 32% for those eligible for auto enrolment. That means that for every £100 a man has in a pension, a woman has £65.1

Read on to get a full breakdown of the most important stats, what they mean, and how we can narrow the gap.


Stats at a glance

  • The gender pension gap is now at 35% which means that women generally retire with 35% less than men
  • For every £100 a man has in pension, a woman has £65
  • Between 2018-2020 the average woman aged 55-59 had £94,000 in pension savings, yet the average man of the same age had £145,000
  • The gap is narrowing slowly, lowering to 35% from 42% between 2006-2008


What’s driving the gender pension gap?

The gender pension gap is initially triggered by the gender pay gap, which currently sits at 14.9%2 in the UK, leading to women saving less for their future.

One interesting data point to come from the new gender pension gap report is that men contribute 17% more to their pensions than women. However, the difference in employment rates between men and women sits well below that at 7%3. On the surface, this could suggest that women are choosing not to contribute to their pension as much as men.

However, we know that women are statistically more likely to take a career break to take on caregiving responsibilities – whether that’s to raise children or care for elderly family members. One study from 2019 found that 74% of women are the main carer for children and take short or long periods off work to look after family4. During this time they may reduce their hours to part time or even take leave. It’s this period of reduced working, and therefore reduced contributions, that impacts their pension savings long term.

Let’s take a look at the gender pension gap, by age group according to the DWP report:

  • Women in their 30s = 10%
  • Women aged 40-44 = 33%
  • Women aged 45-49 = 47%

The gap widens significantly past the age of 40 shooting up to 33% and even further to 47% by their late 40s, when the impact of reduced pension contributions begins to materialise in their savings.


How the gender pension and investing gaps impact each other

A recent survey found that men have £599bn more than women in ISAs, investment accounts and private pensions5. Data shows the majority of women don’t invest because they don’t feel confident investing their money, so opt to put money into cash instead.6

The pension gap is a key driver in the investment gap and – in a vicious cycle – the fear and confusion that many women have around investing contributes to the gender gap in relation to private pensions.

Of course this means a large number of women are missing out on benefits such as investment returns and potentially higher rates of compound interest – which are key to building wealth over the long term – and also means they could have less savings than their male counterparts at retirement. Plus, research estimates that if women invested at the same rate as men, there would be at least an extra $3.22 trillion of assets under management from private individuals.7


How can we narrow the gap?

While the gender pension gap is on a downward trend, lowering from 42% between 2006-2008, there’s still a lot of work to be done. While many of the factors contributing to the gap are out of the control of ordinary people, there are some things you can do to help narrow the gap.


Start saving into a pension as early as possible

The best way to ensure you have enough savings for a comfortable retirement is to start saving as soon as you’re able to – whether that’s through auto-enrolment with a workplace pension or with a personal pension.


Explore Moneybox Pension


Include pensions in your planning

For many, taking time off at some point in their career to take on caregiving responsibilities is pretty unavoidable. Just as you’d plan how you’ll pay the bills, it’s important to factor in your pension when planning this time away from work. Even short periods of time where you’re not contributing to your pension can have a big impact on your pension savings in the long term.

Perhaps you could increase your pension contributions before and after leave. If you’re in a couple, discuss your game plan ahead of time. How can you ensure that both your pension pots are being topped up, even when you’re away from work? If one of you reduces your hours to part time, could the other pay more into the lower earner’s pension?

You can also use our handy Pension Calculator to work out how reducing or increasing your pension contributions may affect your pension savings in the long term.


Pension Calculator


Addressing the investment gap

We’ve established that the gender pension and investment gaps drive each other and the main reason women don’t invest is due to a lack of confidence. 

At Moneybox we believe knowledge is power and the best way to tackle this fear is to learn as much as you can about investing. The Investing Academy is a brilliant place to start and breaks down all the confusing jargon.


Investing Academy


Once you’re more familiar with how investing works, you could choose to start investing with just £1 with a Moneybox Stocks and Shares ISA. 

We’ve made investing with Moneybox easy on purpose, so anyone – no matter their level of experience – can start growing their money over the long term. And, don’t think you have to invest a large amount of money.

Lots of people start off by rounding up their everyday purchases to the nearest pound and investing the difference. You’ll be surprised by how your spare change can really add up over time.


Explore Stocks and Shares ISA


Important to know

All investing should be long term (min. 5 years). The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest.



1 The Gender Pensions Gap in Private Pensions, DWP Official Statistics, 5 June 2023
2 Gender Pay Gap in the UK, ONS, 2022
3 The Gender Pensions Gap in Private Pensions, DWP Official Statistics, 5 June 2023
5 Women missing out on £599 billion in Gender Investment gap, Boring Money, 31 Oct 2022
6 Fear of investing, Wealthify, May 2023
7 The Pathway to Inclusive Investment, BNY Mellon, 2021