Gender Inequalities: Sidelined in British Pension Policy

Jay Ginn

in Britain's Pensions Crisis

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780197263853
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734281 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Occasional Papers

Gender Inequalities: Sidelined in British Pension Policy

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According to the Pensions Commission in its first report, the state pension system in Britain is among the least generous in the developed world. This reflects the explicit aim of both Conservative and New Labour governments since 1980 to reduce the share of pensions provided by the state and increase that provided by the private sector. This policy has reinforced the gender gap in pensions. Despite recent acknowledgement by the government's pensions minister that women's pensions are ‘a national scandal’, there is no sign of a radical shift in policy which is needed to remedy that situation. This chapter outlines the gender gap in later life income, showing how private pensions shape gender inequality in different ways based on women's marital status. It also examines gender differences in working-age individuals' employment, earnings, and private (occupational or personal) pension scheme membership, focusing on the impact of motherhood on women's position. Moreover, it considers alternative ways of protecting the pension income of carers and assesses the Pensions Commission's 2005 proposals in terms of women's pension needs.

Keywords: Britain; women; Pensions Commission; pensions; gender gap; gender inequality; carers; motherhood; income; employment

Chapter.  7281 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Theory

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