Menopause talent drain – half of women going through menopause are considering leaving work

Published  16 October 2023
   4 min read
  • A third (34%) of women cite health reasons, including menopause as the reason for retiring in their late 50s (on average 6.7 years earlier than planned)
  • Five in 10 women are thinking of leaving employment altogether due to their experiences of menopause

New research from Royal London, the UK’s largest life, pensions and investment mutual, reveals that menopause symptoms are making work harder for 86% of women, with five in 10 thinking of leaving employment altogether as a result.

Clare Moffat, pensions expert at Royal London, said:

“It’s clear that many employers are losing key employees because of a lack of menopause support. Women are suddenly questioning themselves and their abilities and the lack of support and understanding in the workplace is causing them to leave work in their droves.

“But with more support for women the menopause talent drain can be addressed stemming the tide of women who feel they have to leave the world of work and reducing health related economic inactivity, a significant issue impacting workers over 50 in the UK.

“Encouragingly 82% of women going through the menopause said they would be more likely to stay with their current employer if they were better supported, but many are uncomfortable discussing their experience with line managers. Only a third of women going through the menopause would be willing to speak to a male manager about the menopause for example compared to three quarters of women who would speak to a female boss.

“Almost a million women are leaving their job because of menopause symptoms, which is having a huge impact on their retirement. Quite apart from the loss of income, women miss out on important pension savings at a key stage in their life, resulting in them being up to £126,000 worse off in retirement.

“Improving how women experiencing the menopause are accommodated in the workplace should be a priority for employers. Managers need to better understand menopause and how they can support employees. Creating a supportive workplace environment and signposting effective menopause support will help employees and ensure the economy benefits too.”

Notes to editor

Royal London partnered with independent research agency Cicero/amo to undertake a nationally representative survey of 3,000 adults in the UK. Fieldwork was conducted in September 2023.

Analysis by Royal London demonstrates the dramatic impact the menopause can have on women’s pension savings.

A 50-year-old woman in full time work until the state pension age of 67 could be better off by over £126k in pension savings, when compared to a counterpart who stopped working at the same age. Women reducing their working hours at age 50 could lose out on £63k in their pension pot.


Full time - £355,510       

Reduced working hours from age 50 - £292,356

Difference - £63,154

Full time - £355,510     

Stop working at age 50 - £229,202

Difference - £126,308

Royal London analysis: Based on a pension fund of £100k at age 50, earning £40k with 2.5% wage growth until state pension age of 67, investment growth of 5% (not including charges), monthly contributions of 10% and a 50% reduction in working hours/pay.

For further information please contact:

Neil Cameron, PR Manager

About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, and in the top 25 mutuals globally, with assets under management of £153 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and over 4,100 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2023. Learn more at