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UK pension gender gap grows to 34%

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The pension gap between UK men and women stands at 34%, according to a recent survey by TradingPlatforms.com  with the data also showing a lack of financial education for the gap.

TradingPlatforms’ finance expert Edith Reads has been studying the data on the gender gap in UK pensions and concludes that the average woman in the country is retiring today with the most significant pension savings shortfall ever recorded.

“In general, a woman in her mid-sixties will have accumulated some £69,000 in pension savings,” she noted.

“That figure pales in comparison to the £205,800 that their male counterparts will have amassed by retirement age. That means that women in full-time employment will have to work an extra 18 years to bridge the gap.”

Using fintech to bridge gap

One way of tackling the gender gap bedeviling the UK pensions sector is through education. Several fintech startups, including Financielle and Smartpurse, are investing in enhancing women’s financial know-how by building their financial savviness and confidence in decision-making.

The startups look to tap into a growing population of UK women who prefer to invest their funds online.

Financial advisor Fidelity reckons that 50% of UK women would choose to invest via online apps and websites.

Smartpurse’s co-founder Olga Miller believes pension brands communicate in a less appealing language and even derogate women.

Fewer images of women

That fact has been borne out by a Starling Bank analysis of over 500 stock images in finance in 2021. The bank found that most captured men with notes while women were with coins. Additionally, they pictured more men than women signing financial documents.

Miller avers that it’s easy for fintech to fall into the same trap as many are yet to tailor-make their services.

She insists that most overlook their messaging, which leaves women feeling excluded from financial and investment services. That’s why her firm and others strive to create safe spaces where women feel free to seek knowledge in non-patronizing environments.

According to Financielle’s co-founder Laura Pomfret, changing the prevailing narrative entails building communities and speaking their language. To her, most fintech startups go wrong by emphasising the solution at the expense of the customer’s voice.

Pomfret insists that targeting women early and simplifying conversations around pensions is the way to bridge the gender gap.