Pensions gender gap ‘starts in childhood’


Parents and grandparents are more likely to save into pensions for boys than girls, research has found.

Some 13,000 girls aged 15 or under had money paid into a pension for them in 2016-17 compared with 20,000 boys, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) data.

The figures were obtained through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted by Hargreaves Lansdown, which said contributing just £100 per month until the age of 18 could potentially boost the pension for a child by £130,000 by the time they reach retirement.

Nathan Long, a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Parents and grandparents are far more likely to save for boys than for girls, so the gender pension gap can start from birth.”

Mr Long said rules allow people without any earnings to pay up to £2,880 every year into a pension and receive 20% tax relief, including children.

It is possible for parents and grandparents to pay into a plan on a child’s behalf.

Mr Long said women need more in their pension as they often earn less than men, take more career breaks as they care for family members and tend to spend longer in retirement as they have longer lifespans.

He said: “Saving from a young age can give a huge boost to your pension at retirement, providing the possibility of early retirement which in the future will be all but extinct.

“It also takes the pressure off people having to save more for their retirement during the early years of their career, when pennies are often tight.”