More women saving for retirement
The proportion of women who are saving adequately for their retirement has jumped to a three-year high, in signs of the success of the Government's pensions revolution, a report has found.
Half of the UK female population is now estimated to be making sufficient preparations for old age, marking a significant rise from the 40% of women who were found to be putting enough money by a year ago, the Scottish Widows annual Women and Retirement report found.
Women are also catching up with men when it comes to making adequate retirement preparations.
A year ago, there was a nine percentage point gap between the number of men deemed to be saving enough and the volume of women who were saving adequately.
But this year the gender gap has narrowed to five percentage points, with 55% of men found to be putting enough money away for their later years.
The last time that as many as 50% of women were saving adequately for their retirement was in 2011.
The report said the improving picture reflects the positive impact of the Government's programme to automatically place people into workplace pensions, which will eventually see around nine million people newly saving or saving more as a result.
On average, women who are auto-enrolled are saving an average of £42.51 a month into their workplace pensions, compared to £49.27 for men, it said.
Lynn Graves, a retirement expert at Scottish Widows, said: "Women have historically lagged behind men in retirement savings but the recent pensions changes are giving women new opportunities to build a more comfortable retirement.
"While it is still early days, the recent reforms are clearly helping more women to put away more for retirement, and to recognise the importance of starting this as early as possible.
"However, we must not be complacent and need to explore how saving for retirement outside of paid employment can also be made easier."
The pensions index covers those who "could and should" be preparing financially for retirement. It covers those aged 30 or over, who are not retired and earning at least £10,000 a year.
People are defined as saving adequately is those saving at least 12% of their income or if they are expecting their main retirement income to come from a scheme with "gold-plated" defined benefits, such as a final salary pension scheme.
The report was based on research among more than 5,000 adults from across the UK.