Much attention is given to the gender pay gap, but one hears much less about the increasing gender pension gap â€“ Â a growing problem in most countries.
Pension systems are usually based on employment related contributions. Â Womenâ€™s working patterns â€“ long career breaks because of child rearing, part-time work , lower salaries and lower retirement ages – all result in reduced pension benefits. Â Many women rely upon their partners for retirement income, but this is not always a secure option.Â Coupled with their longer life expectancy, Â these factors are forcing older women into the poorest demographic groups in many nations.
One solution would be for women to increase optional contributions to pension schemes, but during the economic downturn, fewer women can afford to save, especially those with dependent children.
Some developed countries try to compensate Â for these differences through systems providing a universal minimum pension and credits for child rearing years. A few have even established pension schemes based on residence instead of employment or family work.
What is the situation in your country? How can the gender pension gap be addressed?Â Most young womenÂ do not think about the later impact of â€œlostâ€ working years, lower salaries and part-time hours. How do you think women can build a financially secure future?