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The future for older workersNew perspectives$
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Wendy Loretto, Sarah Vickerstaff, and Philip J. White

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847424181

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847424181.001.0001

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Women's knowledge of, and attitudes to, pensions

Women's knowledge of, and attitudes to, pensions

(p.89) Six Women's knowledge of, and attitudes to, pensions
The future for older workers

Sue Ward

Policy Press

Women are thought to be not knowledgeable about pensions and therefore they do not join schemes of pay large sums out of their wages into personal pensions. If women understood pensions better, this argument goes that everything would be fine. This view was epitomised in the Department of Work and Pensions's (DWP) 2002 Pensions Green Paper, which had a concluding section on women and pensions, tacked on rather as an afterthought. This chapter is based on a review carried out in 2004 for the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC). The project served as a background to the DWP Green Paper. The chapter first considers what women and men know about pensions — state, occupational and private. Particular concern is directed on whether pension provisions affect the decision of those women with children to work or return to work and whether women think that they are covered by state pensions when they are absent from the labour market. The chapter also considers levels of planning for retirement and the question of who takes responsibility for budgeting, saving and pensions planning in the household. It also considers what persuades women in their choice of savings, what barriers they find to making such savings, and whether women are able or wiling to continue pension contributions while absent from the labour market. It also examines how people are confident in the arrangements they make with pensions, pensions provided by the government, by the providers of private pensions and by their employers. In addition, the chapter also considers the age until which women would like to work, when they expect to retire, and whether they are aware or not of the changes in the state pension age. Views on the recent improvements in the financial return for deferring state pension are also explored along with the women's attitudes towards state pensions.

Keywords:   women, pensions, Equal Opportunities Commission, planning for retirement, savings, pension contributions, private pensions, state pension

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