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Scottish Widows publishes Women & Pensions Report

Today, Scottish Widows has released a report which shows the latest savings position for women.

Michelle Cracknell, Chief Executive of the Pensions Advisory Service said:

"We are pleased to see The Scottish Widows Women & Pensions report, which raises awareness for some of the issues that we are aware of from our helpline and gives us guidance on how we can continue to tailor our services to help even more women across all age ranges and events. "

From the helpline and online enquiry services that The Pensions Advisory Service runs, there are five areas that appear to be specific areas of concern for women.

  1. Increase in State Pension Age - many women are aware of the increase and have found out their new State Pension Age from the calculator on the TPAS site; their concern is how to bridge the income gap from the age they expect to finish work and when they will receive their State pension. The Scottish Widows reports highlights that some of the expectations around when you can stop work may be unrealistic.
  2. Shortfall in National Insurance records - some women are concerned about gaps in their National Insurance contribution record and call to see what can be done regarding the shortfall; not all are aware of credits that can be claimed.
  3. Automatic enrolment - TPAS has started to receive calls of women who have seen a fall in their take home pay due to automatically being enrolled into a pension scheme. Whilst we are seeing a higher than expected level of awareness of changes in pensions, the details and practical impact on their own situation is often unclear. This enforces Scottish Widows finding that almost 1 in 4 women are not aware of automatic enrolment.
  4. Divorce - this is a major source of calls where women are not aware of their rights at divorce or do not understand the value of benefits included in the settlement. A worrying finding in the reports is that the vast majority of divorcees say that pension arrangements were not discussed as part of the settlement leaving them unsure of their entitlements.
  5. Death benefits - TPAS receives calls from women who are worried about their lack of pension provision or even their lack of understanding of the different types of retirement savings. In particular, it receives many calls on widow's benefits where the caller has no idea or experience in knowing where or how to apply.

The Pensions Advisory Service is a free information and guidance service that takes over 60,000 calls per year plus on-line requests and has just launched a web chat facility to talk to people online.

You can contact us through our website www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk or by calling our helpline on 0845 601 2923.

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