Unacceptable - Pension gender gap

COMMUTERS will be familiar with the injunction to ‘mind the gap’. It is well known to users of the London underground, Dart stations in Dublin, and intercity rail services.

But the gap we really need to mind has nothing to do with transport. It has all to do with equality and how we, as a society, treat each citizen — male and female.

While the gap in pay between men and women has been addressed, if not fully tackled, it remains most noticeable in pensions.

Ireland’s pension gender gap is 35%, slightly below the EU average of 40%, but still unacceptably high.

After decades of equal pay legislation, the main obstacles to equality in employment persist: A lack of transparency and legal clarity in the definition of work of equal value. Add to that the knock-on effect of depleted pensions which many woman in retirement has come to accept as the norm.

A pension is the main source of income for one quarter of the population. Most men can expect a modest income on retirement. Why should women have to settle for less?

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