Tackling the gender pension and wealth gap

Women are reaching retirement with an average of 35% less pension income than men and are less likely to have financial protection in place during their working lives.

 At Royal London, we’re passionate about changing that. 

Over the past decade, there’s been positive progress with the UK’s gender pay gap. The percentage difference in the median pay between male and female employees, working full-time, has fallen to just 7.7%1. However, when it comes to the gender pension gap the difference is much wider, with the average gap in private pensions now standing at 35%2.

What is the gender pension gap? 

The gender pension gap is the percentage difference in pension income between male and female pensioners.

Although more eligible female employees participate in automatic enrolment workplace pension schemes, their contribution rates remain much lower than their male colleagues. This is just one reason why the pension gap exists – there’s a range of societal factors that also contribute, which we explore in our report.

Our gender pension and wealth gap research

Our research studies the scale of the gender pension gap, looking beyond this to the wider effect on women’s financial resilience. It looks at why women are less likely to have financial protection during their working lives, and how other factors can impact their financial security today as well as in retirement.

Tackling the gender pension and wealth gap report 2023

In this report we aim to help you understand the circumstances contributing to the gender pension and wealth gap and the steps we can take, together, to build more secure financial futures for women.

What can employers do to close the gap? 

It’s important to recognise the significance of the gender pension and wealth gap and how it can affect your employee’s quality of life today, and in retirement. Some of the steps you can take to address the gap include: 

  • Educating employees on saving for retirement 
  • Encouraging pension saving contributions 
  • Providing flexible work options 
  • Promoting equal pay and career progression opportunities
  • Ensuring diversity in leadership roles
  • Reviewing your workplace pension scheme regularly 


Supporting your employees

You can access our range of employee engagement materials in our toolkit.

What is Royal London doing to close the gap?

As part of our commitment to close the gender pension and wealth gap, we’ve implemented all the actions recommended for employers.

In addition to researching and reporting on the Gender Pension and Wealth Gap each year, we have several policies in place to support our employees, offering:

  • Flexible working options
  • Up to 50 weeks paid, shared parental leave in a child’s first year offering colleagues more flexibility in considering how to best care for and bond with their child
  • Up to two weeks paid carer’s leave per year to allow colleagues to care for a loved one
  • Up to 15 days paid support leave for colleagues when they experience a period of personal distress, or face a challenging period, including fertility treatment, bereavement leave parental bereavement leave and time off for dependants 
  • Support and adjustments needed to continue working, while managing symptoms of the menopause or perimenopause, as part of our menopause policy.

Plus our comprehensive benefits package provides:

  • Matching pension contributions of up to 14% from Royal London
  • A programme of pension webinars focused on different aspects of pension savings and how to make the most of their workplace pension
  • Income Protection cover, offering support over and above sick pay, in the event of long-term ill-health
  • Access to our financial wellbeing service and guidance tools
  • Extra menopause support through Vitality.

You can read more about how we’re aiming to narrow the gender pension gap in Royal London in this article from our Pensions Manager, Alexandra Kitching.