Facts from existing research

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The topic of financial disparity between men and women - specifically in savings, investments and financial advice - is one that has a wealth of research behind it. This page should help provide some context for our research and may give you a better idea of whether you would like to get involved.

We believe we can fit nicely in to this area by producing in-depth data that listens directly to women and their experience of money and finances. Hopefully, in the long term, this data can be used to produce solutions to the problems that women face and the concerns that they have.

We have produced a list of existing research that we think is useful in better understanding the scale of the problem:

1. Understanding the Gender Pensions Gap

  • The Pensions Policy Institute produced a report on the pensions savings gap between men and women in the United Kingdom with a goal of impacting the public debate on this issue
  • This report is a useful resource because it draws from a sample size of thousands and explores a range of factors that contribute to the savings disparity
  • Some of the findings in this report that we find important are:
    • "There are 50% more women than men heading towards retirement without any private pension savings" - leaving 1.2 million women solely reliant on the state pension system
    • "In their early 60s the median private pension wealth of women is one third of men’s private pension wealth" - women saving £51,000 on average compared to the £157,000 that the average man saves
    • Women that care for their family full time are missing out on pension contributions as a result - earning above £10,000 per year qualifies you for automatic pension contributions, 1.2 million women miss out on this because they care for dependent children (aren't in paid work)
    • The report concludes that there are substantial differences between the pension wealth for men and women and that policies need to be developed to address this problem
      • They suggest policies like a family carer top-up and the idea household pension wealth rather than individual pension wealth

2. Gender pay gap in the UK: 2020

  • This report by the Office for National Statistics explores the current gender pay gap, looking at factors like: occupation, region and, age
  • Some conclusions drawn by the ONS include:
    • The gender pay gap has decreased from 17.4% in 2019 to 15.5% in 2020
    • One of the biggest factors in determining the extent of the gender pay gap was age
    • The gap between men and women younger than 40 was almost at zero but, this gap jumped to over 10% between men and women over 40
    • Women are more likely to be in part-time work, which tends to have lower hourly rates - explaining why the gender pay gap remains so substantial

3. Wealth, tax and gender

  • Tax Justice produced a report to present to the Commission on a Gender Equal Economy
  • They found that wealth distribution across the UK is unevenly skewed towards men, with women only holding 40% of the country's personal wealth despite making up 51% of the population
  • They also conclude that the current pension system increases these inequalities and makes it harder for women to reach the same level of pension wealth as men and argue that reform needs to take place to address these inequalities

4. Gender, personal finances and Covid-19

  • This article explores the financial lives of men and women in the UK - using data from the FCA's financial life survey
  • This years survey has a focus on Covid-19 and the way it shaped the lives of people across the country and exploring whether the financial impact of the pandemic has been gendered
  • The FCA explores characteristics of vulnerability and their role on someone's financial life
    • A characteristic of vulnerability might be:
      • A physical or mental disability
      • Digital exclusion
      • Relationship breakdowns
      • Illness
      • Poor financial literacy and understanding
  • This report found that women tend to display more characteristics of vulnerability than men (51% versus 40%) this impacts their ability to earn, save and, make good financial decisions
  • The FCA found that men are more likely than women to own any investment product such as stocks and shares ISAs
  • Women are also likely to have increased anxiety around their finances as a result of Covid-19

5. What it's worth: revisiting the value of financial advice

  • This report on financial advice was published by the International Longevity Centre UK and explores the impact getting professional advice has on financial outcomes
  • The report concludes that, in general, getting financial advice will improve saving and investment outcomes
  • The ILC write that those who sought financial advice saved £48,000 more over 10 years than those who did not seek advice
  • Lower income groups could see a 24% boost to their pension wealth, compared to 11% for more affluent groups
  • Those who receive ongoing financial advice have a 50% on average higher pension wealth than those who only received financial advice once

Conclusion

This page of research is just a sampling of how much data exists to show the benefits of seeking financial advice for all factions of society but, especially women. The gender pay gap remains pervasive across generations of women, with older women still bearing the brunt of this disparity. Women tend to invest less, save less and, retire with less as a result. Studies show that those who seek financial advice tend to save more and be better off in the long term. With this knowledge in mind, closing the financial advice gap and encouraging women to take control of their own financial future could be one step towards closing the gender wealth gap in the United Kingdom for good. We hope that reading this may encourage you to take part in our survey or talk to us over a video call so you can contribute to the development of better products and services for women.

If you would like to take part you can find out more on this page or email us at thegoodfutureproject@gmail.com.

About

The Good Future Project is a 75 day research project investigating how women plan for their financial future.

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