Women who experience menopausal symptoms could miss out in retirement
Women are known to face a savings disadvantage due to the gender pay gap, maternity leave and caring responsibilities, but new analysis by Newson Health has shown they could also be missing out on more than £30,000 in pension contributions due to their menopausal symptoms.
The research found that that 59% of women take time off work due to the menopause and nearly one in five women (19%) permanently reduce their hours .
A woman in her 40s with the average projected pension pot would lose out on £1,750 if she took eight months of leave, the average period of time for those with serious symptoms.
And a woman who subsequently reduces her hours until retirement could face a reduction of £32,059 in savings.
These factors contribute towards the Gender Pensions Gap between men and women, which is currently 32%. The loss of resource of women in the workplace also has a huge cost for the UK economy.
Based on the PLSA’s Retirement Living Standards measure, both women who take the average eight months of menopause leave and those who permanently reduce their hours to part-time would only be able to afford a minimum standard of living in retirement, based on private and state pension income.
Dr Louise Newson, founder of Newson Health and of the free balance app, expressed concern at the findings. ‘For too long women have felt they had no choice but to suffer in silence at work or to leave, and it’s left many women with a lack of confidence, curtailed careers and, as we can see, significant financial shortfall. While the government is working to address the Gender Pensions Gap, we urgently need menopause support in the workplace grounded in evidence-based information and improved access to treatment, including HRT, that can help women who are suffering. Through addressing the cause of the shortfall, we can stop women from having to face such difficult financial situations.’
1. Newson Health survey of 3,800 women.