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Gender pensions gap report

GAD has analysed the LGPS gender pension gap. This report provides a first overview of how pensions in the LGPS were impacted by gender as of 31 March 2020.

Pensions experts at the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) have analysed the gender pension gap within the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). This refers to the differences between the pension benefits built up by men and women.

The LGPS Scheme Advisory Board (SAB) asked GAD to help it explore the extent of differences in benefit outcomes. The SAB has now published GAD’s update report.

Reports details

The report provides an initial overview of how pension income and total pension pot size in the LGPS vary by gender, based on data as of 31 March 2020.

As shown in the table below, on average men receive higher pensions than women. This difference is largest for pensions currently in payment, but lower for individuals still accruing benefits particularly benefits accrued since 2014 on a career average basis.

This analysis is based on data collected to conduct an actuarial valuation of the LGPS as at 31 March 2020 and to provide renewed evidence for developing government policy on the scheme.

Table: Average LGPS pensions as at 31 March 2020, by gender

  Male average pension Female average pension Difference between male and female average pension
Actively contributing members: (post 2014) accrued career average benefits £2,536 £1,656 35%
Actively contributing members: (legacy) accrued final salary benefits £2,879 £1,542 46%
Pensions in payment £8,466 £4,285 49%


Difference implications

These differences are likely to reflect a combination of differences in:

  • pay – Analysis by the LGA in 2019 across local government employers indicated there was a mean gender pay gap of 6.1% and a median gender pay gap of 4.0% among certain local government staff. The GAD pension analysis also includes wider groups of LGPS members and employers, which may have different pay patterns from those considered by the LGA analysis.
  • working patterns – such as the balance between men and women working part time and taking career breaks.
  • other factors – such as rates of individuals opting out of LGPS membership

GAD and the SAB are now doing further work to investigate and understand the pension differences described by the initial GAD report.


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