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TUC – women in Yorkshire and Humberside twice as likely as men to miss out on pensions auto-enrolment

Women in Yorkshire and Humberside are more than twice as likely as men to miss out on being automatically put into a workplace pension, according to new analysis published by the TUC on Monday 29 May to mark gender pensions gap day. 

  • New analysis shows more than 1 in 10 female employees in Yorkshire and Humberside are in jobs where their employer doesn’t have to enter them into a workplace pension
  • Monday 29 May is ‘gender pensions gap day’ – the point at which the average woman would start receiving their pension if it was paid at the same rate as for an average man
  • The average pensions income gap between women and men nationally is 40.5%, or £7,100
  • TUC calls on ministers to urgently fix auto-enrolment and invest in social care and childcare to improve retirement incomes for women

The analysis shows more than 1 in 10 women in Yorkshire and Humberside (10.7%) are in jobs where their employers do not have to enter them into a workplace pension, while the figure is less than 1 in 20 (4.7%) for men. 

Employers are required by law to automatically enrol workers into a pension if they earn £10,000 a year or more, and to make contributions for them. 

But 1.4 million women across the country earn less than this threshold – potentially leaving many without an occupational pension. 

Young workers set to miss out 

Auto-enrolment does not kick in until workers turn 22, but the government has recently announced plans to lower this age threshold to 18. 

While this is a welcome step, the number of young workers in low-paid and part time jobs will limit its impact.  

Today’s analysis reveals that more than 1 in 3 (36%) younger women and 1 in 8 (15%) younger men aged 18-21 do not earn enough to require their employers to auto-enrol them. 

Gender Pensions Gap Day 

These figures are published as the TUC marks Gender Pensions Gap Day (Monday 29 May) – the day women pensioners effectively start getting paid their pension. 

Prospect union has calculated that the income gap between men and women in retirement is now 40.5%, more than twice the level of the gender pay gap (currently 14.9%). 

The huge pensions income gap between men and women means that the average retired  woman effectively goes nearly five months of the year without getting a pension. 

Why is there such a big gender pensions income gap? 

The TUC says the main drivers of the gender pensions income gap are: 

  • Caring responsibilities: The unequal division of caring responsibilities means women are much more likely to take time out of work or work part-time to look after children, making it harder to build up a workplace pension. 
  • Gender pay gap: The impact, over time, of women earning less than men due to the gender pay gap. 
  • Auto-enrolment: Gaps in pensions auto-enrolment that mean employers do not have to enrol low paid workers into a workplace pension – and these are more likely to be women. 
  • State pension: Historic differences in National Insurance that have left women with lower state pensions on average. 

The TUC says that unless these disparities in pension wealth are tackled, the gender pension gap will persist when today’s workers reach retirement.

Click here for the full press release


Original article link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-women-yorkshire-and-humberside-twice-likely-men-miss-out-pensions-auto-enrolment

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