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Gender gap in pension incomes is widening

The gap between men and women's pension incomes is continuing to grow, with men receiving a pension as much as two thirds higher than their female counterparts upon retirement.

According to a report from Prudential women planning to retire in 2010 expect to receive an average annual pension of £12,169, while men expect to collect an average pension of £19,593 - a pension gender gap of £7,424.

The pension income gender gap has widened by £782 since 2009 when the difference between men and women's pensions was £6,642.

The gap continues to grow despite a decrease in expected pension incomes as a whole over the last year. In 2009 men expected to collect an annual pension of £20,313 - down 3.5% to £19,593 for 2010 - while women expected to collect £13,671, down 11% to £12,169 for 2010.

The mean expected pension income for men and women is down from £17,779 in 2009 to £16,509 in 2010, a fall of £1,270, which equates to approximately £100 a month. 

Karin Brown, director of pensions and annuities at Prudential, said: "The reason women appear to get less in their pensions than men is embedded in years of history and, to a certain extent, because some women take a career break to have children which has an impact.

"But there is plenty of scope for women who are working and contributing to a pension to help reduce this deficit in future. By talking to your employer you can find ways of boosting pension savings and maximising the tax advantages that pension savings can bring."

Almost a third (32%) of UK workers over 55 who said they were delaying plans to retire, because of the economic slowdown and the falling value of investments or due to a financial emergency, believe they will never be able to afford to retire completely. 

Brown added: "Although many working people may not be able to remedy this situation at a late stage in their working lives, younger people do have a chance to start building a decent pension pot. Prudential believes people should, ideally, start saving for their retirement as early as their 20s or early 30s instead of putting off pension saving until later in life."

How do pension incomes compare across the Britain?

South East£19,275


East Midlands£16,565
North West£16,022
North East£14,783
West Midlands£13,921
South West£13,781