Women worst hit by auto-enrolment – Bee

The pensions system requires urgent change to ensure women have access to full basic state pension, says Steve Bee, head of pensions strategy at Scottish Life.

Bee has called on the government to ensure that new pensions legislation, which will mean two thirds of women will be eligible for the full basic state pension, is extended to fix the problem for all women.

Currently only 35 per cent of women receive full basic state pension, although this figure should increase as a result of pension legislation currently passing through the house.

Bee says: “It seems as if pensions were built by men for men and assume that everyone has a full basic state pension, which does not help women.

“If people are auto-enrolled into private pensions savings, the chances of those being unsuitable seem much higher for women than for men. The new Pensions Bill is saying that the Government has decided that everybody should be saving as the default, but I would prefer if people were automatically enrolled into other forms of long-term savings rather than pensions.

“The Government is making a mistake by assuming that women’s lives and work patterns are becoming more like men’s and that therefore they suit pension products designed for men.”