Women Need to Take Control of Their Pensions

24th September 2020

Posted In: The Topic

Women need to get better at looking after their long-term financial independence, an online conference will be told this afternoon. Wellbeing specialist Susan Elliott (pictured) says that women are getting better at looking after their short-term financial independence but still have a way to go when it comes to their future financial security.

Susan will be speaking this afternoon (Thursday, 24 September) during a webcast on Women and Pensions as part of Pensions Awareness Week. Pensions Awareness Week (PAW) is designed to raise awareness about retirement planning and to help people take charge of their long-term savings.  It is a Moneycube.ie initiative in association with Aviva, Beacon Capital, Financially Fit, FirePodcast.ie, Greenman Investments, ISME, Irish Life, Property Bridges, Property District and Zurich Life.

Each day has featured webinars that focus on different aspects of pensions including: Starting a Pension; Pensions for Business Owners; Property and Your Pension; Women and Pensions. Today’s session on Women and Pensions is designed to give women practical steps to starting planning for their financial future and will come away with an action plan.

Research from Irish Life last year found that women’s pensions were around 22% lower than men’s pensions.

Susan Elliott, who has worked in the financial services sector for more than 20 years says: “Women are good at thinking of how to fund a certain lifestyle now; we are prioritising being able to finance looking after our mental and physical health. That is all good but there is a longer game to play.

 “We need to look at the future we want to have and plan accordingly. Most people when they retire are doing so in good health and they need to be able to fund that whole new chapter of their lives.

Women need to take control of their pensions as individuals. Men are much better at doing this.”

Susan adds that women need to plan for various disruptions in their earnings that can occur during their careers. These could be for a number of reasons including: maternity leave; changing careers; going back to college; or having to care for a family member. These gaps often mean that women are underfunded when it comes to retirement.

“Even people who are in company pension funds need to look at how they might be able to top up their pensions and make themselves more secure in the future – don’t just rely on the pension plan that has been put in place; look at how you can maximise it. Don’t think about it in your 40s or 50s when it might be too late, you need to be thinking about it in your 20s and 30s as this will give you longer time to build up a fund,” she adds.

The Women and Pensions session today will feature Susan Elliott as well as Irish Life’s head of Public Policy Teresa Kelly Oroz, Moneycube.ie’s Olive Ryan and FinanciallyFit.ie founder Leanne Long.

Olive Ryan, who is Moneycube.ie’s Head of Client Services, says: “Women live longer, earn less, and often retire earlier than men. That creates a need for clever planning of their pension wealth. While the gender gap is well known, the lifetime effect is becoming clearer and we hope to shine a light on it as part of Pensions Awareness Week 2020.”

To register for the remaining events or for more information on PAW, visit PensionsAwarenessWeek.ie. Tomorrow (September 25) is the final day of Pensions Awareness Week 2020 and the final event will look back over what has been learnt during #PAW2020.