63% of pre-retirees believe new pension Auto-enrolment system will reduce gender pension gap

By March 5, 2024Press
Group of 7 smiling professional older women approaching retirement age pose for a photo.
  • New survey reveals that 71% of female respondents took a career break, with 94% citing childcare as the main reason

68% of female respondents will be heavily reliant on the State Pension when they retire, as opposed to 32% of male respondents according to a recent survey conducted by the Retirement Planning Council of Ireland. Retirement is a significant milestone in a person’s working life, and findings from the survey demonstrate that there is a pension disparity between women and men at retirement.

60% of female respondents would consider working past 65, compared to 40% of male respondents. 68% of respondents think that there is a pension disparity between men and women, and 58% of respondents think it is not recognised in society. 75% of respondents agree that women have historically faced financial discrimination in pensions.

Being financially prepared was addressed in this survey, 80% of females have not thought about it. 81% of respondents believe that women rely more heavily on the State pension system compared to men. 50% of respondents think that providing unpaid care contributes the most to women’s inequalities in the pension system, while 35% think it is due to holding low-paid or part-time jobs.


Laura Farrell, CEO, Retirement Planning Council of Ireland said: About two-thirds of those attending our pre-retirement courses express concern about managing their finances in retirement. At present, there is a cohort of women approaching pension age who grew up in an era when their mothers did not expect a pension, therefore pensions may not have been a high priority in their retirement planning. It is also important to note that a woman’s pension was negatively impacted by the marriage bar, it was lifted in 1973, which was the requirement that women working in certain jobs must leave that job when they marry. Many women were forced out of the workforce on marriage or voluntarily took career breaks to care for children or other family members. Career breaks meant breaks in contributions – to both PRSI and occupational pension schemes.


It is encouraging to note that 63% of respondents think the introduction of Auto-enrolment in Ireland will reduce the gender pension gap. It is important for individuals to have a clear plan in place for this phase of their life and to start acting towards their goals as early as possible. With the right planning and support, retirement can be a fulfilling and enjoyable phase of life.”

58% of respondents think pension disparity between men and women is not recognised in society. On a positive note regarding future plans for the pension system, 63% of respondents think the introduction of Auto-enrolment in Ireland will reduce the gender pension gap.


The Retirement Planning Council offers a range of retirement planning resources and advice for individuals to help them make the most of their golden years and make their retirement dreams become a reality, including travel, starting a new hobby, or supporting loved ones.


To find out more, visit www.rpc.ie.