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Citizens Advice has revealed that 72,000 women are missing out on auto-enrolment pensions. This is because of people working for more than one employer, most of whom are women.

In order to qualify for auto-enrolment, a worker has to earn at least £10,000 a year. However, more than 100,000 people, mostly women are missing out on this because they work for several employers.

While they might reach the threshold for income tax on their combined income, they don’t qualify for workplace pensions if their income from each employer is less than £10,000.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice said: “Many people – particularly women – work several part time jobs, which helps them manage commitments like childcare or study. But while in many cases they earn over £10,000, and pay tax on this combined income, they don’t have access to a workplace pension and miss out on the opportunity to save for their retirement.”

 

Women receive less on average

According to insurance company, Zurich, women are to expect an average of £47,000 less in their pension pots than men. Their analysis also found that between the years 2013 and 2016, men received 7.8% of their salary in pension contributions whereas women only received 7%.

This is thought to be because men are more likely to work in industries with better pension schemes.

Another reason for women receiving less pension is that they’re more likely to take career breaks in order to have children. This means that sometimes they do not meet the minimum of 35 years of NI credits needed to entitle you to the full state pension.

Women are also more likely to go into part time work in order to fit it around family commitments. Many new mothers don’t want to go back into a full-time job and struggle to find one that offers the kind of flexibility that they need. This is why many women end up taking on several part-time jobs, which can lead to the problem of not earning enough for a workplace pension.

Zurich’s head of partnership development, Rose St Louis said: “This difference in the contributions that they receive from their employer presents a serious – and growing – problem.

“The triple effect of smaller salaries, career breaks for women and lower contribution rates needs to be addressed: we can’t ignore a £47,000 shortfall.”

 

Government response

The government announced back in December that it would be reviewing the auto-enrolment programme this year. They said they would begin examining the issue of workplace pensions for workers with several jobs.

A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions said: “There’s more to do – especially for people with more than one job – and we’re currently reviewing the policy to see how it can be improved.”

Are you worried about missing out on pension? Should the government do more to help people with more than one job? Let us know what you think in the comments.

 

About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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