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ICAEW Insights In Focus podcast

The gender pension gap

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Ros Urwin is joined by a panel of experts to discuss the gender pension gap, a problem that is related to the gender pay gap but has its own, negative characteristics.

We hear a lot about the gender pay gap – the difference between the average earnings of men and women, but the pensions gap has had little attention, yet it is actually more acute. While the gender pay gap among full-time employees in April 2020 was 7.4%, and it was 15.5% among all employees, the gender pension gap is much wider. A recent report found a 40% gap in pension savings between women and men – that's an average difference in pension income by gender of about £7,500 a year.

According to research released by Scottish Widows earlier this year, the average woman in her twenties is on course to have £100,000 less in her pension pot at retirement than a man of the same age. Women face a higher risk of retiring in poverty than men. And the pandemic appears to have increased the gender pension gap, because women were more likely to be furloughed or lost their jobs.

Women live longer, earn less and save less. They are more likely to take long breaks from their career for caring responsibilities or to work part-time. Even the state pension is based on how many years you’ve worked or National Insurance credits you’ve received during time off for parenting or caring.

This podcast will explore all these issues, and explain how individuals, businesses and government can go about closing the gender pension gap.

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Rosamund Urwin


  • Jane Portas, a former financial services partner at two big 4 accountancy firms, the co-founder of Insuring Women’s Futures which is a market-led programme for improving women’s and society’s financial resilience, and the author of ‘The Risks in Life’ series of reports and practical including ‘Solving women’s pension deficit to improve retirement outcomes for all.
  • Philippe Seidel of AGE, the largest EU-funded network of organisations of and for older people in Europe. He specialises in the fields of employment of older workers and social protection, as well as gender equality. Philippe also coordinates AGE’s relations with the European Parliament.
  • Philippa Kelly, ICAEW’s Director of Financial Services who leads ICAEW’s work across banking, insurance and investment management. She qualified as a chartered accountant with PwC


Natalie Chisholm

Episode published: 16 September 2021
Podcast recorded: 13 September 2021

All views expressed on this podcast are those of the contributors and don’t necessarily reflect those of ICAEW or its members.