12 April 2019

Women's pension equality 'still decades away' despite growth in pension coverage

4 min read

Steve Webb
Royal London



The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today published new data on workplace pension scheme membership drawn from the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings for 2018.  The figures show – perhaps surprisingly – that amongst full-time workers and among part-time workers a higher proportion of women than men are now members of workplace pension schemes.   

This is partly driven by the fact that pension membership rates are much higher in the public sector where women make up a larger proportion of the workforce.

The figures are shown in this graph from ONS:

Source: Figure 4

But this does not mean that women are anywhere near achieving pension equality according to Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London.  He said:

“Whilst it is great news that far more women are now members of workplace pensions than in the past, there remains a pension gulf between men and women.  Being a member of a pension is a great start, but the size of your pension will depend on how much you earn and how much you and your employer contribute.  On both of these fronts, inequalities in the jobs market mean that women are still lagging far behind men when it comes to building up decent pensions.  On current trends, women’s pension equality could still be decades away”.

For further information please contact:

Royal London Press Office

About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £130 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 4,046 employees. Figures quoted are as at June 2019.

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