Men at 50 earn 60% more than women

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The average 50-year-old man earns nearly 60% more than the average 50-year-old woman. The average salary at 50 is £24,500. But men earn an average of £30,000 and women just £19,000.

And that £11,000 earnings gender gap is hitting women's retirement saving, new research conducted for Irish firm MetLife shows.
MetLife found that just 44% of women aged 50 work full-time compared with 71% of men. This hits retirement saving with a third of women relying on their partner's pension, the research found. Just 22% of women stated they were the main income earner.

Financial insecurity

Men and women at 50 are struggling for financial security – on average 50-year-olds feel they would need an annual income of £38,600 to feel secure and just one in three 50-year-olds believe their earning power has not peaked yet as they enter the crucial period for retirement income planning.

MetLife is highlighting the financial pressures faced by the Uncertain Generation – those born between 1961 and 1981 – which it calls U-Gen. It has launched an online calculator at to help you understand when you can afford to retire and how you compare against other 50-year-olds.

Seek advice early

Dominic Grinstead, managing director of MetLife UK, said: "The average 50-year-old may feel they are a long way from retirement but they are unfortunately also a long way from feeling financially secure and just one in three are optimistic about their earning power.

"We understand that those in the Uncertain Generation have to make major decisions about their and their families' future at a time of great financial uncertainty and economic volatility.

"That is why we are encouraging them to seek advice now to help them plan for and achieve as much certainty as possible about their financial future."

Reasons for not working

MetLife's research shows 12% of 50-year-olds are unable to work due to disability or illness and 7% are unemployed and looking for work while 2% are not looking for work. One in six men in UGen – 16% - says their partner is the main earner.

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