A quarter of all women associate retirement with 'insecurity'

Global, November 20, 2014

Women around the world share the same hopes for retirement as men. However, a sense of anxiety arises among women when asked about their expectations for retirement.

New research: Women: balancing family, career & financial securityA quarter (24%) of women associate the word "retirement" with "insecurity" and almost one-fifth (18%) with "poverty". The feeling of anxiety is reflected in what women actually can or will do to strengthen their financial position in the future. Only one in five women believes she is on track to achieve her required retirement income.

New retirement research focusing on women

New research from Aegon examines the retirement preparedness of women in the workforce in 15 countries spanning Europe, North and South America and Asia. Women: Balancing Family, Career & Financial Security is drawn from a survey of 16,000 workers and retirees, including 7,956 women.

"Today's women are better educated and more likely to find paid employment", says Marc van Weede, Head of Strategy and Sustainability at Aegon. "As a result, women are in a better starting position to save for their retirement than previous generations. However, women are still faced with major obstacles in their career.

Aegon research: Women more likely to rely on their partner for retirement income"It is fair to say that the responsibilities of family life often still fall primarily on women, which makes it difficult for them to adequately prepare for their retirement. As a consequence they are more likely to rely on their partner or social security in old age. Overall, 54% of women indicate that their partner will be an extremely or very important source of financial support during retirement."

Gender divide in retirement incomes

Marc van Weede adds: "Concerted action is required to address the gender divide in retirement incomes, and provide women everywhere with a stronger financial footing when entering retirement. Greater financial literacy is required as well as awareness around the challenges facing women, alongside efforts to create a retirement system which better recognizes the different aspects of women's lives."

Infographic: Women not saving enough for retirementPessimism and insecurity about retirement (see report: Women: balancing family, career & financial security, part 3) is casting a shadow over women's retirement readiness.

Retirement shortfall for women

One of the greatest issues facing women globally is an imminent retirement savings shortfall. Only 20% of women believe they are on track to meet their income needs when they retire and 40% "don't know."

Most women are saving for retirement; however, they are not saving enough to meet their future retirement income needs.

The survey found that a majority of women (57%) is saving for retirement, including 36% who always make sure they are saving and 21% who only save occasionally. Further, another 24% are not saving but intend to do so.

Women not saving enough for retirement

While most women are saving, few women globally (10%) say that they are saving enough for retirement and almost one in four (23%) indicate that they are hardly saving at all.

Our report shows the country-specific breakdown. India shows the most favorable saving figures and Japan and Hungary the worst. In both latter countries only 2% of women state they are already saving enough and over 30% indicate they are hardly saving at all.

Written by: Aegon