Charity sector has one of the UK’s ‘biggest gender pension gaps’

The charity sector is blighted by one of the UK’s worst gender pension gaps, a report has revealed.

Female workers in the sector are losing £28,710 on average compared to men from their pension during a 45-year working life time, due to pay disparity and taking time out of work after having children.

The loss has emerged in a report on the difference in pensions between men and women among employers across a range of sectors in London and Manchester.

This found that the average annual pension gap in the capital for women working in charities is £691 and in Manchester it is £638.

Other sectors to be hit by a significant pension gender gap include supermarkets, temporary employment agencies, business outsourcing firms, education, construction, marketing and restaurants.

The research has been carried out by financial services firm Raisin and is based on salary data sourced by the Office of National Statistics.

Raisin warns that “it is perhaps no surprise that the larger the gender pay gap, the larger the pension pay gap”.

Another factor is having children, which is further reducing women’s pension pot.

Raisin estimates women miss out on £783 a year on average in earning loss after having a child and for every child after their first.

“Although it may seem a dated notion of men as the ‘breadwinners’ and women as the ‘caregivers’, this is still reflected in maternity and paternity leave and the gender split of full-time and part-time employment,” said Raisin.

“Our data discovered that approximately 90% of men retain full-time employment (45 hours a week) in the first ten years of fatherhood, compared to 73% of women returning to work in the first year of having children.

Women can help counter the impact of gender disparity in pension pots by paying a larger contribution early on, according to Raison co-founder Kevin Mountford.

“Where people are able to do so, choose to pay more before you expect to have children. This means you don’t have to worry as much when having to plug the gap whilst having dependents,” he said.

Taking advantage of workplace pension schemes and contributing to personal pension plans are other ways to build pension pots, he advises.

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