In the UK men receive pensions 43% higher in value than women*, while being paid 19% more**. The European TUC also estimates that across the EU the gender pensions gap is 39% while the pay gap is 16%.
“People are generally aware of the unacceptable gender gap that exists for pay, but the fact that a far greater gap exists for pensions is not well known,” said Prospect pensions officer Neil Walsh. “If we are to make progress on reducing this gap, which is an intergenerational issue, we must raise levels of awareness,” he added.
The union says that the need for women to balance working life with caring responsibilities, widespread low pay among female-dominated sectors of the economy, and pension scheme design have all contributed to gender pension inequality.
In a motion to the annual union get-together Prospect will call for a concerted effort to raise awareness of the issue together with significant improvements to defined contribution pension schemes.
The union will also call for an independent body, akin to the Low Pay Commission, to be established to calculate the minimum income required to achieve a decent standard of living in retirement and to make recommendations on the level of contributions required to achieve this
Prospect has detailed its proposal for a “sustainable pension commission” in a new pamphlet, which will be discussed at a TUC fringe meeting. It suggests such a commission is needed to address the problems of inadequate contribution levels under auto-enrolment.
Prospect’s pensions fringe event will be held in Room 1b, The Brighton Centre, King’s Road, Brighton BN1 2GR on Tuesday 15th September at 12.45pm.
Prospect’s policy pamphlet: Fair Pensions http://library.prospect.org.uk/id/2015/01124
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