Men face 25% gender pension gap


The amount of pension paid to men retiring in the next 10 years could fall by a shocking 32% creating a 25% gender pension gap under plans to reform state pensions.

Men and women who retire in 2010/2011 will receive  £124k in state pension on average by the time they die, but this figure will fall to £1ook for men and £111k for women by 2020/2021 – creating a gender pension gap of 10%.


If this weren’t bad enough news for men, who already spend more time at work on average, pay more tax on average and enjoy 7 years less in retirement on average – the Government is now considering radical plans to create a universal state pension that would be worth £85k for men and £116K for women – creating a gender pension gap of 25%.

Despite this obvious inequality, pension campaigners and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have chosen to ignore the widening gap between men and women – caused by:


Instead, rather than highlight the 25% gap between the total amount the average man gets out of the state system – despite paying in more in the first place – campaigners such as Saga’s Director General – Ros Altmann – have described the pension system as unfair to women.

The logic applied by Altmann – supported by the DWP – is that because women spend more time in retirement it is only fair that they should get more pension in the future.

At present, women who spend less time at work, pay less tax, get to retire earlier and live longer than the average man  – will receive on average £40 a week less pension i the next decade.

To tackle this “unfairness” Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister, is pushing for a radical change in the rules to create a universal pension worth £140 a week –  a move supported by Altmann.

While a flat rate state pension for all men and women seems like a fair service for a benevolent state to provide (and also much simpler to administer and understand) – it’s interesting to not the sexist double standard at play.


When women spend less time in work and earn less in an average lifetime as a result – it’s called sexism against women and labelled the gender pay gap.

When men spend less time in retirement and receive less pension in an average lifetime as a result – it’s not called sexism against men – it’s called sexism against women.

So when men spend more time in work and earn more in an average lifetime that’s sexism against women

And when women spend more time in retirement and receive more pension in an average lifetime that’s…………erm, that’s sexism against women too.

And then, when the Government announces plans to raise the pension age for men and women to 66 meaning that the average man who works until retirement age will have just under 12 years to enjoy his retirement compared with the average woman who will have a third longer (16 years) in retirement – well that’s – you guessed in – “blatant discrimination against women” too (see article).


This one-sided view of the world always being unfair to women is re-enforced by the Government and its interpretation of how ‘fair’ the pension system is to men and women is just one example.

So whilst men retiring in the next decade will have:

  • Worked more hours
  • Paid more tax
  • Retired later
  • Die younger
  • Face a 32% fall in their state pension payout from £124k to £85k
  • Face a gender pension gap of 25% over the lifetime of their retirement

And whilst women retiring in the next decade will have:

  • Worked less hours
  • Paid less tax
  • Retired sooner
  • Live longer
  • Their weekly pension rise from £130 to £140 per week – whilst men’s fall from £180 to £140 per week

When it comes to gender unfairness, all the DWP has to say on the subject is: “Women have been penalised by our State Pension system for too long”.

No mention of the unfairness to men – or those who are fortunate enough to live to see their retirement -have been required to work more, pay more, retire later and die sooner.

No mention of the unfairness to men who will be required to work even longer before retirement for an ever decreasing pay out and a pension worth 25% less in total than the total pension received by his female counterparts.

This is despite the fact that men are still twice as likely to be working over 60 and have a shorter life expectancy. When you look at all the people over 65 in the UK today, twice as many of the women will still be alive at 100.

According to research by Age Concern – now Age UK – there is an increasing body of evidence pointing out that the specific needs of older men are largely ignored in current services for older people,

The research shows that older men are more likely than older women to be excluded from wider social relationships, especially men who are divorced or never married.

Divorced and never married men are particularly susceptible to social isolation, poor health, risk behaviours (e.g. smoking and drinking) and material disadvantage than married older men.

When it comes to being old – just like every other stage of life – women don’t have a monopoly on unfairness – though you wouldn’t know that if you just read the media reports on pension inequality that remain blind to the inequality experienced by men.

What everyone in the country can agree on is that pensions should be fare for everyone – men included.


MEN £124,488 £100,386 £85,176
WOMEN £124,176 £111,618 £115,752

(Figure based on Office of National Statistics data on life expectancy and retirement age)


Glen Poole is UK co-ordinator for International Men's Day, Director at the consultancy Helping Men and news editor of insideMAN magazine. Follow him on twitter @HelpingMen or find out more about his work at

Posted in NEWS, News From The Men's Network, World News On Men's Issues
3 comments on “Men face 25% gender pension gap
  1. amos2008 says:

    Thanks for this excellent article. Do you mind if I post this (or at least parts of it) on various men’s blogs, sites and newsletters etc.
    It would be good if you can get the BBC to use it. If they do then, of course, it would be something of a miracle !!!


  2. glenpoole says:

    Hi there – yes you are very welcome to use any of the posts here we just ask that where possible you reference this blog and if you quote us please quote us in context – which I am sure you – thanks for reading and commenting – and thanks for spreading the word – OH and this does appear on other blogs, newsletters do please let us know and where appropriate we’ll link to them

  3. […] face 25% gender pension gap An excellent article from the Men's Network. The amount of pension paid to men retiring in the next 10 years could fall by a shocking 32% […]

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