The number of women putting away an adequate amount of money for their retirement has jumped from a record low to a four-year high over the course of the last 12 months.
That is the main finding of research from Scottish Widows’ annual Women and Retirement Report, which found that half (50 per cent) of the UK female population is now putting enough money away to enjoy a comfortable retirement, an increase of ten per cent since last year.
The rise has been made all the more significant by the fact that it is the first recorded increase since 2011 and follows a number of significant changes in pensions regulations, such as the introduction of automatic enrolment.
Women making gains
Another key finding from the report was the fact that the gender gap appears to be closing, with the nine per cent gap between men and women recorded in 2013 now cut to five.
Female savers aged between 50 and 64 are keeping up with men in the same age group, recording figures of 60 and 62 per cent respectively.
Average savings for women in that age group were recorded as being 10.5 per cent of their earnings, while the figure for men was 11.2 per cent.
The report found that the use of automatic enrolment has largely been met by approval from savers, with 62 per cent of working women of all ages welcoming the initiative.
On average, women auto-enrolled are in line to save £42.51 a month into their workplace pension, while men stand to save an average of £49.27.
Lynn Graves, 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.
“A record 14.4 million women are now employed in the UK, an increase of over half a million women over the past two years and the highest since records began, but just 29 per cent of them are currently part of a company pension scheme, with a greater tendency towards career breaks and part-time working largely responsible for this.
Ms Graves added that the continuing rise of automatic enrolment was likely to cause this figure to increase further, although she also warned against any complacency, urging workers to explore other ways of saving for their retirement.