The gender pension gap

The gender pension gap is the difference between the average female and male’s savings for retirement. We’ve seen improvements in the number of women saving for retirement in recent years but there’s still a big gap between women and men. There are lots of reasons for this and we’re campaigning for policy changes that would make a difference. We’re working to raise awareness of the issue and provide helpful guidance and support to make planning for retirement as straightforward as possible.

What causes the gender pension gap?

By age 11, girls get less pocket money than boys. While pocket money and pensions are separate, this gap in finances between males and females continues with age, and is compounded by life events such as divorce, maternity leave, career breaks or part-time working. Today, the average 20-year-old woman could face a future where she has £78,000 less saved for retirement than her male counterpart. We want this to change.


What is the gender pension gap?

Our retirement expert Alison Nicholson joins blogger @NomiPalony to discuss what’s creating the £78k gender pension gap.

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Key insights from our 2019 Women & Retirement Report

  • More women than ever before are saving – and they’re saving more
  • Women are more likely than men to have experienced financial difficulty and have stopped paying into their pension because of other financial commitments.
Read report

Gender pension gap Q&A

  • What is the gender pension gap?
  • Why do women have less pension savings than men?
  • What can be done to close the gap?
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Do girls really get less pocket money?

In February 2020, Opinium surveyed more than 2,000 adults across the UK on the topic of pocket money. Respondents were asked pocket money related questions about only their oldest child. This gave a simple view of the average pocket money given to girls and boys at different ages.

Are you on track for retirement?

Try our Your Future Self tool to see what you have saved and if its enough for the retirement you want.


Could you be facing the pension gap?

Knowing what you’ll have in retirement is a good place to start. Answer 4 simple savings questions to see what age you could retire, and get a glimpse of what you might look like.

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Real pension stories – Five moments that matter

When you’re navigating decisions like taking a career break, reducing hours, going self-employed or getting divorced it’s worth knowing what that means for your pension in the future. Read our real women stories and watch the 2 minute expert films to find out more.

1. Career Breaks and Maternity leave - Read Kate’s story


Career break: Kate's story

'I worry about what I've done to my finance for the future by taking a break from work.'

Read Kate's story

Working part time?

I work part time, how does this affect my pension?

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Parental leave

What happens to my pension when I’m on parental leave?

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2. Working part time – Read Charlotte's story


Working part time

'When I went on maternity leave paying into my pension had to be put on hold.'

Read Charlotte's story

Working part time?

I work part time, how does this affect my pension?

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Company Pension

Am I making the most of my company pension?

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3. Self-employed - Read Davina’s story


Self employed

'I’m self-employed so I only pay what I can afford into my pension and have property to fall back on.'

Read Davina's story

Pension tips

Our pension expert shares his top 5 pension tips.

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Retirement calculators

Check out what your pension pot might look like in retirement.

4. Consider your pay - Read Nikola’s story


Consider your pay

'As a full-time parent and carer, my plate is full and my earning power is low, so I’m concerned about the future.'

Read Nikola's story

What is the state pension?

Do you know how much you could get?

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How old do I have to be?

When can I access the money in my pension pot?

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5. The impact of life events - Read Donna’s story


The impact of life events

'The financial impact of divorce means I’ll have to push my retirement back by about 10 years.'

Read Donna's story


What happens to my pension during a divorce?

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Divorce & pensions - Pensionwise

Visit Pensionwise where you can get more free and impartial guidance.

Visit Pensionwise

Pension Wellbeing Guide

Our Pension Wellbeing Guide is full of helpful and practical ways to start taking on your future, regardless of where you are in life.

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What the bloggers have to say

We’ve been working in collaboration with Mother Pukka, NomiPalony, and Plutonium Sox. Read their blogs to find out what they think about saving for retirement.

Mother pukka – Shy about retiring

What’s the minimum you can pay into your pension? What sacrifices can you make to save more into your pension? We teamed up with Mother Pukka to answer some of her key pension questions around how women can save better for their future.

Find out more

Nomipalony - Do you know if your pension's on track?

@Nomipalomy talks about her own pension situation, the gender pension gap and saving for her future.

Read now

Plutonium sox – Falling through the cracks – It's time to take control of your pension

Our report struck a chord with Natalie, who falls into the third of self-employed women who are saving nothing for retirement. In her blog, she looks at the financial reality many women are facing and how she’s taking control of her future again.

Take a look

How are we helping close the gender pension gap?

To help close the gender pension gap we are working with organisations across our industry as well as the education sector and the Government. We are committed to highlighting the issue, providing support and guidance and campaigning for pension reforms that could make it easier for women to save for retirement.

Working to improve the gender pension gap

"We need to help more women address the challenges they face when saving for the future. To achieve this, as well as highlighting the issue, an ambitious set of policy reforms are needed and we are calling reforms to ensure more woman than ever are able to enjoy a satisfying, well-earned retirement.”
Jackie Leiper, MD Workplace Savings and Distribution at Scottish Widows.


Women & Retirement Research

It’s been 15 years since we first began surveying the retirement preparations of women across the UK. Check out our findings.

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Insuring Women’s Future

Scottish Widows has supported the Insuring Womens Futures initiative since 2018. Jackie Leiper, chairs the Womens Empowerment work stream working alongside other key industry figures to make a number of recommendations to help tackle the problem.

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Work in the community

As part of Lloyds Banking Group, one of Scottish Widows’ main aims is to Help Britain Prosper.

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Campaign for change

We believe reform and greater flexibility for pension products is key in supporting women and reducing the gender pension gap. Have a look at our recommendations.

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Helping deliver Money Pension UK's strategy

Jackie Leiper MD of Workplace and Distribution, Scottish Widows has recently been announced as chair of Money Pensions UK’s Financial Wellbeing Challenge Group: Gender and Financial Wellbeing, helping take on the financial gap that exists between men and women.

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Scottish Widows campaigns

Have a look at our campaigns helping raise awareness of the gender pensions gap and our UK tour which has helped thousands of people start planning for their future.


International Women's Day

To coincide with International Women’s Day, Scottish Widows is launching a new campaign to raise awareness of the Gender Pension Gap and get more women engaged in saving for the future. Find out more @scottishwidows #GenderPensionsGap. Follow us on social media.


Women and Retirement

Our Women and Retirement report celebrates 15 years of research into Women’s pensions savings. Each year we’re joined by industry leaders, employers and experts to shape policy, make recommendations and campaign for change to make it easier for women to save for the future.

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Taking on your Future Together Tour

Each year our experts tour the UK answering thousands of pension questions. Look out for us again this year.

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Taking on your future together

Visit our retirement planning hub for more financial planning tools, guidance and support.