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Why a Woman’s Retirement in Ireland is More Financially Perilous than a Man’s

11/01/2018 Posted by IAPF | Comments(0)

While the issue of pension planning is of significance for both men and women, it is recognised that women face many more hurdles in structuring an adequate retirement plan than men do.

Whether it’s due to the gender pay-gap, a more fractured career path, a lack of interest in pension planning, or simply down to affordability issues, it is a fact that overall, Ireland’s female workers have less in the pension pot than their male counterparts.

As women live longer than men, their financial needs in retirement are also greater as a result, making the issue all the more important to address. 

In 2017, we asked 1000 people throughout the country their views on this & the responses we received served to reinforce our contention that more women need to focus planning financially for the future.

The survey found that 41% of women see themselves still working at 70 or literally “until they drop”, while just 34% of men would envisage a similar fate. .

In planning for retirement, it can be hard to know where to begin. However, I would say that the first key factor which women should give careful consideration to is whether or not they will be entitled to the State Pension?

As a statutory pension forms a core component of many people’s retirement plan so knowing your eligibility or otherwise is of crucial importance. If you are in the workforce you also need to find our whether or not your employer has a pension scheme you can join.

If you were ever a pension scheme member in previous employment you need to track these details down so that you can access your funds when the time comes.

For many married women, their spouse’s retirement situation is also a big consideration. When it comes to separation or divorce, this area can also be more challenging for women because in many households, greater pension benefits accrue in the male’s name.

As a woman, you need to be aware of what position you would be left in were you to separate from your spouse. Pensions are an asset and can be divided like other assets in divorce.

For women who are planning to leave and re-enter the workforce at some stage, it is important that, where possible, provisions are put in place to balance the long-term implications this will have on your retirement plan.

It’s worth noting that pension rights are preserved after just 2 years under the Pensions Act, and that pension scheme membership can continue during maternity leave.

Given these issues of pension accessibility for women, we would encourage women of all ages to get interested in and take a more pro-active role in future-proofing their own financial security.


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