Financial experts, Mercer, said Irish women need to give stronger consideration to their own financial planning and should be less dependent on the pension savings of their spouses.
A survey conducted by Millward Brown Lansdowne found that just 47% of working woman have private pension coverage compared with 56% of men. The survey also found that working men have “better quality” pensions coverage with 45% of men in defined benefit schemes, compared with 40% of women.
One in five working women also said they “don’t know” how they are going to fund their retirement.
Retirement consultant with Mercer, Aisling Kennedy, said: “Women need to be more single-minded about their financial future. Family life typically dictates that it is the female partner that leaves the workforce for a period, quite often at the peak of her earning capacity.
“On average, women spend 10 to 12 years less than men in the workforce over their lifetime, but as women live longer and have more need of healthcare and long term care, their financial needs are greater.
Ms Kennedy said women are likely to outlive their partners and unless they have adequately prepared financially for this, they may find they cannot fund the quality of life that they expect after retirement.
The research also found that almost 30% of men over 55 years of age have sought advice on retirement planning — this falls to 20% among women over 55 years.
“We would urge all women, and in particular working women, to seek advice and to get a financial ‘health check’. Financial planning for the future is a job for today and should not be postponed,” said Ms Kennedy.
Chief executive of the Irish Brokers Association Ciaran Phelan said women typically need an extra 10% to 20% in their pension funds to cope with their longer life expectancy.
“Living longer simply costs more and this is reflected in the lower annuity rates, often their typical average income is lower and their working life can be shorter due to the pressure of raising a family and it appears that they are less likely to join a pension scheme.”